We’ve lived in south west France for just over 9 years, so we’re used to long, dry, hot summers.  This year has been exceptional though. We had a long, cold, wet, spring and now summer shows no sign of slowing or cooling. Normally at the end of August you can smell autumn in the air and the evenings are cool enough for a cardigan… not this year!

We had thought that heading to the high slopes of Cantal would bring us some fresher cooler air but we were wrong.  France Meteo has issued a Canicule warning… it’s going to be un-seasonably hot… so take precautions!

Our precaution was that we would start early and not walk too far.  Sadly we had a little too much red wine last night so we didn’t leave quite as early as we hoped!  And when we arrived at our destination, the walk we wanted to follow didn’t start here?  So we opted for a little circuit in the hills that would have us back for around 11:00am.  It looked a bit steep and because of the heat we decided to leave our packs behind and just take small day packs with water and some essentials.

Off we set from the base of this old volcano and headed up.  Up and Up and Up and Up we went… it wasn’t really that bad but crikey when it’s 380c it feels a long way!  Did I mention how much I LOVE my UV umbrella!

We followed the shade whenever possible, the veiws are incredible and we wished it was cooler so that we could walk more… but oooh we were so glad to reach the top.

My lung is still playing up a little.  I’ve noticed a few times that I feel like I’m not breathing on full cylinders… so I shall get this checked before I leave for Spain!  My Keen’s also hurt again today and they are simply not right… the Teva’s went on half way around and my feet were happy again.

Not far from the end we found a very nice little Auberge and managed a quick, ice cold cold Perrier and a rather strong Grande Creme, before heading back to the van.

This is a seriously fabulous location and we hope to come back… but with hotter weather expected tomorrow we will be taking a driving tour… and leaving the boots in our bag… no more walking for us in the Cantal… for now!


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