Queen Anne’s Lace and the Beautiful Dordogne

Saint Sulpice de Roumagnac Loop | 12 kms

How was your summer?  It has been really very hot here in SW France and it seems to be the norm these days that the high 30’s are expected and that perhaps one day will just push over to 40c.   We’ve also had very little rain so the garden is parched and trying to keep our ‘lockdown’ veg plot happy has been a challenge.  And yet we survived.  And as the days turn cooler and Autumn is just around the corner it’s the perfect time to find our walking shoes and get back out on the trail.

I planned a walk about 30 minutes from home.  We’d walked one part of this area after our lockdown in May and I wanted to walk this section to see if we could get a glimpse of the wide open views that I love in this corner of the Dordogne.

We met at the village hall car park at 9:30… maybe 3 or 4 minutes later thanks to google and maps (which was going to be a recurring theme throughout the walk)  Six walking buddies set off, beside a very grand old chateau and through the village and very quickly into the rural splendour and shade of the forest.

I use wikilocs to follow our trails.  Usually it works a treat.  I download the trail we’re going to follow and I  check to see that we’re following the correct route as we walk.  However, ever since I downloaded the COVID Track and Trace app on my phone my maps have not worked correctly… regardless of the app.  I find that after about 15-20 minutes the map simply stops tracking.  Not ideal when you’re driving and following google but equally frustrating when walking.  However… it was a fabulous day and even the maps couldn’t break my mood… I was walking with friends… the best place in the world to be!

Today was rolling but nothing too difficult and on the second half of the walk we were indeed rewarded with the magnificent views of distant horizons.  We had corn and sunflowers and even the odd grape.  We walked through forests and beside fields and a few quiet country lanes… we had a few fallen trees to navigate but no cows… although we did spot a few beehives in the shade of the trees.  Walking through a field my walking buddy asked if I knew the name of a flower.  I didn’t but she told me to look closely and see if it had a red dot in the centre.  It did.  “It’s Queen Anne’s Lace” she explained “so called because the flower resembles lace, and the red flower in the centre represents a drop of blood where Anne pricked herself with needle whilst making the lace”  I didn’t know that and I’d never noticed the red dot before.  I love that walking gives you time to stop and see the world in such small details.

Today wasn’t quite as cool as I’d hoped but gosh I had a lovely walk and in wonderful company too!   I’m planning a few more of these over the coming weeks… it was so good to be walking again!  Thanks to all my walking buddies for walking with me today!  I hope to see you soon!

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