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.
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.
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.