Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Cahuzac church

Today we are out for a walk with Dave and Chris at the small village of Cahuzac-sur-Vère, north of Gaillac on the road to Cordès-sur-Ciel. We park in the centre and walk towards the church with its impressive and unusual spire. We then headed north along a small road and soon had a more comprehensive view of what the church was like.

The road led to the cemetary and we were surprised to see in front of it a lavoir, or public wash house for clothes. These used to be common in France, but are now rather an anachronism. It is forbidden the washing of carpets, rugs, duvets and the like.

We followed a track uphill and entered the village's extensive vineyards. These had not yet been pruned and were thus out of line with what we observed was best practice in the region.

At the top we reached a small road and turned left along a long ridge at an elevation of about 275m and then left again to begin the return. I was rather surprised - and totally delighted - to see a Scarce Swallowtail perched on a bush. What a treat for April 1st! Inevitably, it flew off before I could get closer.

This wasn't the only butterfly though: we also saw Large White, Comma, Orange Tip and the European form of Speckled Wood.

We followed a path south past fields and then light woodland, with a lovely view across to the pretty village of Andillac.

After a while we crossed the Vère at a small footbridge and followed a farm track back to the village with the river on our right. As we walked back we heard a cuckoo. The first of the year of course.

A nice lunch at a local restaurant completed a lovely outing.

Conditions: clear, sunny and warm.

Distance: 3.5 miles.

Rating: three and a half stars.

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