And then we walked…

So many times since I started this journey I’ve been told I should do more with my walking.  “You should write a book” is a common refrain (watch this space on that one!) “You should offer escorted camino trips” is another.  My usual response is to laugh and brush it off but I guess if something is said often enough then it plants a seed… the shadow of an idea… a whisper that sits with you and slowly takes form.

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking.  I live in a beautiful corner of South West France.  I’ve lived here for over a decade, I speak French,  I’ve raised a family here and gone from being a stranger on foreign shores to thinking that this is my home.  So I thought, why not use my love of France, my knowledge of this region and my passion for walking and merge them all together…  And Then We Walked was born.

logoMy plan is to find a beautiful French holiday home to rent for a week.  I’ll plan daily walks and visits to some of the many iconic sites in this region, maybe we’ll spend a few hours at the local market, maybe we’ll visit a boutique vineyard for a private wine tasting?  Or maybe we’ll visit one of the 1001 chateaux that adorn the Perigord?  And of course there will be food and wine and fresh croissants and french coffee… well… you get the idea!

For a week I’ll show you my France.  Beautiful. Surprising. Enchanting… and after all of this we’ll also walk!

Watch this space… I’m only going to offer a maximum of 6 places each trip.

38 and Counting

1Our walking holiday is turning into more holiday and less walking.  France Meteo issued a canicule warning for today… Canicule “précoce et exceptionnelle” dans le Sud-Ouest : il a fait jusqu’à 38 degrés lundi … and we’ve manage to locate ourselves almost in the hottest part of France.  They said it was going to reach 38c…  Mr S was not planning on walking today.

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We were determined, after yesterdays long hot walk, that we would get up in good time today.  We would go and find some provisions for a picnic and start walking around 10:00… but we woke up at 9:45am.

So we showered and meandered and had a cup of tea and finally left our apartment around midday.  We drove 15km to the very pretty village of Montreal du Gers.  This is another stop on the Camino Le Puy and the road sort of shadowed the route as we drove… although you couldn’t see the path.

le puy

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In 2013 we had a holiday in Northern Spain. We set off in our camper and drove west along the coast from France for a day or two and then south to Burgos. After a couple of days there we drove on to Leon, heading to the coast at Vigo.

I kept seeing hikers… Gerry called them ‘shellers’ but they were of course pilgrims. I watched through the window as we drove along and by Leon I was very curious. By the time we arrived at the coast I was committed. Continue reading