Weeks in the French Interior - Summer, 2007
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03 Brantôme (Dordogne)
Wednesday, August 15
Cooler, drier air had moved in overnight, but the heat mounted throughout the day. We had coffee and croissants in a Salon du Thé, and lunched in La Marchée open-air restaurant. We then brought our run of good luck to a quick halt by heading 30 miles north of town to park in a churchyard and undertake a more serious hike, using a guide we'd picked up before lunch. The Bartelémy trail was described in what seemed to be clear language, but we were lost at every turn, hiking long distances, then retracing our steps, when the next landmark failed to appear--sweating, attacked by insects, arguing about the next option, and, in my case, in general having every opposite of a good time. We had failed to get a good map to accompany the "simple" trail instructions, and, only after over two hours of misery, did we discover that we had probably been trying to hike the trail opposite to the brochure's itinerary. We sat down for cold wine at a picnic table outside the Auberge next to the church, and vowed to do it better next time.
Showers, fresh clothes, and a good dinner capped with a thunderstorm across the river completed our day. Dinner began with the ubiquitous salade gourmande of this region, with its centerpiece of gésiers (gizzards). Then steak for me, and lamb for F. We arrived in our room, drenched, content, and more than ready for sleep.
Copyright© 2007 - Darrell Taylor