Our new friend Jenny-from-Bilbao came for a flying visit late last week, so we did a quick Cook’s Tour of some of our favourite spots. Roquefixade, of course, Montségur: and then on a bright Autumnal Saturday morning, we finished off by a quick look at our local lake, Montbel. It’s a man-made reservoir, actually, but it looks as though it’s been there forever, and fish, herons and humans all appreciate its cool expanse of water as a change from all those hills, mountains, rivers and streams.
What a difference a day makes. Sunday sulked. It rained in the night, it rained in the morning, grudgingly cleared up, then spent the rest of the day teasing us with odd showers which never quite decided whether to go for a full-blown drenching, or merely hang around as damp atmosphere, cloaking the landscape with fog.
So our planned walk from Croquié, with its promise of stunning views as our reward for a stiff climb was abandoned. Instead we met at 1.00, we hardy types, and Jean-Charles proposed what I thought was little more than a walk round the block. ‘Just up to Tabre, along the ridge and back’ he said. Well, Tabre is the next village along, Mirepoix direction, so that sounded easy enough. So off we went, along a bosky path, through Tabre, up a hilly climb to great views back to Laroque. A long and often muddy forest track took us past further views, over the Douctouyre valley, and circled us over and past the next village along from Tabre, Aigues-Vives. Down we climbed again, and took paths through fields back to Laroque. A fabulous walk, all 15 km or so of it, and almost every step of it previously unknown to us. And we pride ourselves on having got to know our patch pretty well. Thank goodness for local friends who carry on helping us to discover even more.