Calendar 2024 #1: Bridge over the Lot river #2: (take 2 of the previous photo) #3: Cliffside trail leading to the locks (and shortly thereafter, the campground). Note that the neon green in the forest is a side-effect of tweaking the image to make the trail and cliff visible. If you’d like this photo in the calendar, there should be a way to fix the colors without losing the trail and cliff. #4: (tweak 2 of the previous photo) #5: This and the next 2 photos are taken from beyond the locks on the same trail. Since the river is very shallow here, boats pass near the shore (where I’m standing) to enter a side channel where the depth is regulated by the locks. #6: (take 2) #7: (take 3) #8: The trail joins the town road at this house just before reaching the campground. Many houses in France have a « cave » underneath, which just means « wine cellar », but this house features a real « cave ». #9: Kayak passing across from the campground beach. The blue in the original scene is very striking but somewhat dim in the photo, though I imagine one of my photography friends can tell me how to get the blue to stand out. #10: One-lane bridge into town, taken from the campground beach. #11: (take 2) #12: A trio of chatty German campers on a river raft. #13: (take 2) #14: Cliff dwellings, French style. #15: After 2 nights at the campground, I packed up all my gear and climbed 1,000 feet from the river valley up onto the plateau. Two hours later, the shady driveway of this old mansion looked like a nice spot to rest a few minutes. #16: For my first errand upon arriving at my rental trailer on the plateau, I jogged through farm roads to the town of ASsier which features a rare grocery store, along with some nice scenery. #17: Walled garden in Assier. #18: Le château d’Assier, originally a medieval fortress, then partially renovated in the Baroque era. #19: Regional themes for traditional stone houses: natural brown shutters and thick climbing vines. #20: Ponds in the municipal park of Assier. #21: A bull with his ladies. #22: A bull without his ladies. #23: Quirky road sign: « gazoil » is equivalent to the British « petrol », suggesting perhaps there had been a spill on the road. Normally this sign reads « gravillons », meaning « loose gravel ». #24: Fancy lodge in Brengues. The national long-distance championship was held on a cliff plateau just west of the one you see in the background. #25: House on the steep hill out of the river valley at Brengues. #26: House in Grèzes on the way back from the long-distance meet in Brengues. #27: L’église Saint-Frézal de Grèzes. #28: Natural wood gates and fences are also a regional signature. #29: They say a rooster crows at dawn, but this fellow got an early start and did a few numbers all day long. Apparently capable of short flights, he was always out of the coop. My host apologized for the « naughty fellow » approaching guests to show off his colors in hopes for a few crumbs. #30: The hens were not so ambitious about fence hopping. #31: Two of the four chicks. #32: Most of the landscape is covered thick with these colorfully shrubby orange and yellow trees, though I could never find an angle that really captured it well on camera. #33: Campground at Brengues, full of orienteers the day before, quiet today on my way back from the relay outside Grèzes. #34: Cliff bordering the long-distance race site. It was a long walk up, unless you happened to have a bike handy 🙂 #35: Peaceful hollow full of classic homes and lodges. A group of Catholic pilgrims walking a popular route was on the way up for the night as I passed by. #36: Another rendition of wood tones on shutters and doors. #37: Take 2 from the other side, showing the slope out of the Célé river vally in the background. #38: (take 3) #39: An elegant house on the edge of rugged woods, featuring black bark on skinny stems, another regional accent. #40: There is a town in France by the name of Corn. Here it is. #41: Book sharing is popular in the rural communities, but I’ve never seen a walk-in before! This mini library sits atop the « peak of Issepts », which I passed several times from the trailer down in the town of Issepts. #42: A distinctive style of apartment windows found in the south of France, at least from Bordeaux over here to Toulouse. Sometime I’ll have to see the Mediterranean coast as well, but there’s less forest and hence less orienteering over there. #43: Although the Toulouse train station is located near the middle of town, this river greenbelt creates a peaceful ambiance around it.