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Walking

Home for me is the north-west tip of the Cantal.  In the whole of the Cantal there are nearly 340 marked trails ranging from less than 5 to more than 30 km to hike.  France is a vast country (the biggest in Europe) and The Auvergne is one of the larger regions.

FrAu

Above left you can see how Auvergne sits in France as a whole and above right the 4 departements that make up the region and how they fit together.

Wales Vermont

Interestingly if you took a mirror image of Auvergne it is almost identical in shape to Wales which also has 4 different regions making up its whole.  Auvergne though is 25% bigger than Wales and, at 26,000 sq. km, lies half way between Vermont (25,000) and Massachusetts (27,000).

That’s the geography and the scale.  Auvergne is, of course a mountainous region being at the heart of Massif Central.  What makes it a joy to walk is that unlike its big sisters Les Alpes and Les Pyrenees it is hugely accessible.

Since mid-October when we started to walk the marked paths in Sumene Artense (our pays) we have walked every one and some two or three times which adds up to more than 250 km walked just in this area.  The French have a brilliant system of marked paths meaning that we can explore an area in great depth and in great safety.  Two Brains walks with me when he is in France but he is often away and The Bean and I walk together in all weathers … chapeau to the French for making it so easy.

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. I had never realised Auvergne and Wales were similarly shaped. I’ll send the link to my welsh friends to get them to go there instead of Brittany!

    Liked by 2 people

    July 7, 2015
    • Almost identical … in fact my children call Auvergne the Wales of France so if its welshness they crave this is the place for them – Wales but on a bigger scale (but no coast 😦 )

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2015
  2. I didn’t know about the Auvergne being called the Wales of France, but the first thing I said when I first saw it was that it reminded me of my hone in Snowdonia. I put up a couple of photos on one of my posts also pointing this out. I have travelled quite a bit in France over the last six years, and this is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite region. We once drove for two hours and only passed one car, I had to be dragged back kicking and screaming to Paris!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 24, 2015
    • Its just so lovely to find someone eulogising about Auvergne – I’m a teeny bit OBSESSED!

      Like

      September 24, 2015
  3. Where about are you? Are you near Besse, I love this little town – I have lovely photos of my cat Willow as a kitten in a ittle red harness in Besse. (we found her in the Pyrenees – anther story!)

    Liked by 1 person

    September 24, 2015
    • I’m about 40 minutes south west of Besse it local …. I generally reckon to drive 30-45 minutes to visit anyone or anywhere – a bit like the rule of thumb for London ‘how long does it take to get from any A to any B … 50 minutes!’

      Like

      September 24, 2015
      • It’s mad because my average travel to work time is around 1h20, but some places takes longer, and I am just going to different parts of the same city!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 24, 2015
      • What do you do for work? Commuting definitely not viable here!!

        Like

        September 26, 2015
  4. I teach medical English to student nurses in the 17 nursing schools in an around (but mostly far flung around!) Paris. I also teach medical English to Physios, Anaesthesiologists and researchers inside Paris – 21 different places in all, sometimes three in the one day.
    But at the moment we are introducing a new e-learning platform to supplement the face to face lessons, and it is me the another senior teacher who are giving the demonstrations in all the schools – there are six intakes all at different stages of their training in each school – just do the sums.
    It has not kicked of properly til next week, hence I have had tme eto tootle about on here – calm before storm so to speak – And you Osyth, what do you do?

    Liked by 1 person

    September 26, 2015
    • Amazing! I gave up my corporate career to come here (boring investment management stuff but fed my girls for umpteen years – I bought them up unsupported). Now I’m here I don’t ‘work’ – no opportunity in such a sparsely populated place. So I live very frugally and am free to see my two brained astrophysicist husband when he is in Europe where before it was difficult because I had limited vacation time (he works in the U.S. but travels globally and I’m waiting for a Green Card … 27 months and counting). The worlds a pretty bonkers place. So I write and I walk and I interact with the bonkers world on here 🙂

      Like

      September 26, 2015
      • I would love to stop work, but it is not an option while living here as it is SO expensive – can’t begin to tell you…….My ‘finace’ (that sounds corny, but I suppose that is what he is) is based at Paris, but is also away a lot in various parts of the country or ‘France outre mer’, so not an option for at least 12 years til he retires, but I cannot keep this up more than another 2 I think! I was an anaesthetic nurse in Wales. How do you get from being a ‘Scouser’ to an ‘Astrophysicist!’I am seriously impressed.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 26, 2015
      • I remember that feeling so well …. I worked in London commuting from Oxford and it was just caning. We decided after we were married that it was untenable but the pay off is being miles from no-where so for instance a 6 hour round trip to drop youngest daughter at the airport (she paid her own fares and Rodez was the cheapest return this time. My husband worked hard and was good at science, went to a really good grammar and knew because the family was very poor that he needed to make things happen if he wanted a better life. that and a single mother who wanted him to have the best opportunity so did things like sending the TV back when he was coming up to 11+ to negate distractions. I think as ever it’s a combination of nature and nurture ….

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        September 26, 2015
  5. Ha ha ha his mother sounds like my father – There was NO tv in our house until I was 18. I took a lot of stick at school because of this, but my friends loved coming to our house as we all discussed politics and literature and history and music and everything else under the sun. The only tv that I saw was at my grandmother’s house on Saturday night – usually The Val Donnican Show, so I didn’t feel deprived lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 26, 2015
    • But he did wear nice jumpers 😉 seriously I look back and wish I’d had his mum or your dad … Is have hated them but ….

      Like

      September 26, 2015
      • Ha ha ha I forgot the jumpers – and the rocking chair. I did get to see ‘The Monkees also, I was in love with Davey Jones – not very original!
        My dad began teaching me classical music wen I was about 2, he would listen to radio four and say ‘What’s this Lin?’ And if I got it right, I got 2 bob – a lot of money – it went in a money box, then into a little post office bank account that I had my own book. The first piece of music that I recognised was the March of the Toreadors by Bizet, closely followed by the 1812 overture, and The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, but my favs were Fingal’s Cave’ and Sheherazade . I made quite a tidy sum – taugt me value of money also, as if I wanted anything, it came out of my winnings, so I thought twice!

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        September 26, 2015
      • What an amazing man! I got 6d for weeding …. And had a PO account (can still see those little blue and grey books) – not quite the same learning curve. I have a Godson called Fingal 🙂

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        September 26, 2015
  6. Just made bread – but scoffed a chunk before I took the photo – so had to be creative to disguise my gluttony…….

    Liked by 1 person

    September 26, 2015
    • Bread? Irresistible when made by ones own hand 🙂

      Like

      September 26, 2015
  7. Gosh what a gorgeous name! YEY the little books, I loved seeing it mount up, but then I blew it all on ‘cut-out dolls’ which my mother binned, and I discovered recently that one set that I had was changing hands for around £3,000 – I am deeply scarred by their loss (she binned them without asking me, while I was in Paris of all places when I was 17, thinking that I was too old for them. My father used to say that if she ruled the world, there would be no such place as a museum!
    We didn’t have grass, just a yard………

    Liked by 1 person

    September 26, 2015
    • His sister is called Clovisse … Fabulous names for extraordinary children. I feel your loss …. That is harsh. I had the acres, hubby had the yard 😉

      Like

      September 26, 2015
      • Clovis (masculine) was a French king. I agree wonderful inspirational names

        Liked by 1 person

        September 27, 2015
      • Indeed he was – we have a tableau called ‘Baptisme of Clovis’ in the village church – recently restored grace of national funds it is a classified artwork dating from 15 something 🙂

        Like

        September 27, 2015
  8. Mine had the acres – brought up on an orchard farm in Normandie, along with horses and cidre press, in the miniature apartment with me now, but he craves a garden – we have blue cedar saplings growing in window boxes on our little Juliet balcony – Goodness knows where he thinks he is going to plant them, he grows all manner of things (tomatoes grown from seed that he had scavenged from a tomato salad, which was fun, as we did not know how big they were destined to be – cherry or beef – as they all just went into yogurt pots then in to proper pots. It was much too hot and dry here for them this year and we have not had a good crop.)
    Ah my advantage is that I can take Easyjet from Paris direct to Liverpool to see Tasia – then I take a train to York to see Kate. Tasia and her hubby are moving into their first house today – I feel so bad missing this event in their lives, I should be there helping and enjoying the moment, but I am stuck here downloading details of names and contact numbers and directions for all the hospitals, then printing plans of the actual hospital sites. So Thank You for providing me with a little diversion in between or I would go crazy!
    I am going to make a cup of tea now – a tout a l’heure
    Lindy x
    P.S. My mother felt the loss more when I told her how much potential money she had thrown away – all were with their original books and boxes etc and in really good condition….

    Like

    September 26, 2015
  9. The contrast with Wales is astonishing. It looks like such a beautiful place to live and completely land locked.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 26, 2016
    • When my youngest daughter came to stay for the first time she reported back to her friends that ‘mum basically lives in French Wales’ … it is a strikingly similar landscape. The sea is the only thing it lacks which is why I am badgering my husband to take me to Cape Cod and all the other wonderful coastal bits of here whilst I’m here … it’d be rude not to 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 26, 2016
      • I am looking forward to Cape Cod sometime (in the summer). I have a cousin in Maine and we need meet each other for the first time before I can’t see him anymore, 🙂 And yes, it would be rude not to.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 27, 2016
      • Lovely! I shall be in Maine in summer seeing my cousin too …. He runs summer boy camps which would sound very wrong in Europe but is very right here I’m told 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        January 27, 2016
      • Summer camps are very normal here! Mind you, we used to trust priests…

        Liked by 1 person

        January 27, 2016
      • Indeed ….

        Liked by 1 person

        January 27, 2016
  10. So your a walker… Just one of the reasons your in fantastic shape I suppose. Miss your thoughts gorgeous

    Liked by 1 person

    November 14, 2016
    • I’ve just read your Wendy’s post and I will be commenting shortly. As for my shape – lucky genes 😉

      Like

      November 14, 2016
  11. The idea of marked paths is actually brilliant!! I love walking too 🙂
    p.s – Do you have a blog page on FB too ?

    Liked by 1 person

    May 12, 2017
    • I have an Osyth page which is mostly my blog posts. Do you?

      Liked by 1 person

      May 12, 2017
      • Oh that’s cool, will follow it. Yes, I have FB page by the same name – Untraveled Routes 🤘🤘

        Liked by 1 person

        May 12, 2017
      • Excellent .. I find you and follow you!

        Liked by 1 person

        May 12, 2017
    • PS: That way you get my latest posts. Of course you can do the same on the blog by looking at the side-bar for recent posts, if it is easier 🙂

      Like

      May 12, 2017
  12. Walking is a great way of exploring a place! Your post was very educational!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 26, 2017
    • That’s very kind of you …. it also helps ward off senility, so the good boffins at Harvard tell me!

      Like

      June 26, 2017
  13. Hey Osyth ! Great post, I love walking too, in the Pyrenees.
    p.s : is it correct English if you say “excerpt from the map of France”

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2017
    • Yes, that would be a good translation. My very first hikes in France were in Ariège and I returned there two years ago. I could happily live in the Pyrénées I am certain. Maybe one day we can walk together and speak half the time in English and half the time in French!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2017
      • Yes, that would be nice !! … I walk with a friend in Hautes Pyrénées twice a year, this is the place where I spent almost all my summer holidays when I was a child, I went with him 2 years ago and he fell in love with it, so now we go twice a year 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2017
      • Oh. How. Lovely! (That is Osyth English – not at all grammatical and purely constructed for effect 😉) … I shall imagine you both there with glee and wave from an Alp from time to time til we can take a stroll together 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2017
      • ok we will 😉 we sleep in a lovely hotel run by a very nice English couple in Saint Savin, maybe we will meet there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2017
      • Sounds perfect 😊

        Like

        August 20, 2017

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