Day 4–Pradelles to Cabrespine

Via Bourdials, 16.5 km, 230 m of ascent, 840 m of descent. The hottest day.

We started out going past the lake of Pradelles, where we saw a boy fishing for ecrevisses, then descended through a beech forest to the ruisseau de Mulet, where we wet our caps, and climbed back up to Bourdials. There we struck south to Cabrespine, crossing the Clamoux, climbing through the hamlet of Thérondels-Bas to the col above Serremijeanne. The trail became indistinct with lots of stinging nettles and brambles. Eventually we made our way to a lovely châtaigneraie, where we stopped for lunch. We continued our descent to the ruisseau de Serremijeanne, where we had a swim amid blue dragonflies.

We rejoined the D189, started cutting off its boucles by going down through the woods, passed a beautiful but unfortunately occupied house, with pool and manicured lawns. We joined the road again for the last stroll through Laval with its vegetable gardens, passed the cobwebbed virgin, to Caprespine.

We were greeted at the chambre d’hôtes l’Olivette by Elizabeth and local apple juice. The house had been in the family of Elizabeth’s husband Pierre and was full of historical photographs of Cabrespine, including a fascinating postcard in the toilet showing terraced farms and no houses. We were invited to Jane’s for a swim, boules, and rosé.

The menu: olives, saucisse de foie, pistou on toast, salad, chevre with miel, Cabrespine lamb stew and local rice, and tarte au figues à la mode.

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