Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Serious Walk.

For a variety of reasons--being in  another country had been one of them--we had yet to join the Léran Walkers' group on their monthly rambles around the countryside. But no excuses for missing the walk last Wednesday. For one thing, we were here. For another, there was a lunch at the café afterwards.

We all met up at the café, then drove to the nearby village of Ste. Colombe sur L'Hers where we met up near the church. I didn't do a head-count but there was over a dozen of us including Kate newly arrived off a flight from Vancouver. 

The first section was a deceptively gently climb up a long slope that took us into a forest. We emerged at the edge of a field planted with dark green kale growing in the densest heaviest mud I've ever encountered. The map at the top of this post shows the hardest part of the walk which took us along the side of the field and down a steep slope to a farm and the village of Rivel. That white stuff blowing across the shot of the farm is indeed snow. We also encountered small spiteful pellets of hail and, later, sunshine. 

Pink-cheeked, tired and glowing with achievement, we arrived back at the café for a lengthy lunch. If you can't read the menu on the table, we were welcomed with mulled wine, the perfect thing to cup frozen hands around. Next came bowls of sweet potato soup. The plat principal was roasted free-range chicken with sage-and-onion stuffing, broccoli, cauliflower mash, sautéed Brussels sprouts and roasted carrots. Marek and Shirley own the café. Dessert was Shirley's stupendously good lemon tarte with crème fraîche. After that, it was a simple case of coffee, mince pies, home and naps. 

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