The Grand Randonnee of the Valley of the Creuse had turned out to be an unexpectedly delightful walk, so, eager to see more of it we decided on a slightly longer route, 22 miles from Argenton-sur-Creuse to Le Confluent and back to Argenton along the other side of the valley.

 

 

 

Argenton-sur-Creuse has some lovely old buildings, best viewed from one of the town’s bridges. It was a sunny day and so lots of photos were taken!

Argenton-sur-Creuse

I did point out though that as today’s route didn’t actually follow the river for that long I might not take as many pictures…

Helen when I told her I wouldn’t be taking many photos today… I may have lied…

We left the river to walk through the suburbs of Argenton-sur-Creuse to the village of Le Pechereau, where we caught up with another walker wearing a back pack. He stopped and turned towards us, and I thought ‘he’s going to ask us directions and I am not going to be able to understand him’. We explained pleasantries and Helen asked him in French if he was walking the Route de Saint Jacques- he replied in French that he was, and then said that he was American. Bizarrely we then replied- in French- that we were English!

Le Pechereau

We walked with him for a while as our two routes converged. He expected his walk to take several weeks and was meeting up with family later on. Stopping for a mid morning croissant on a leafy track we watched him walk resolutely on and I admired his tenacity to keep walking for weeks at a time.

Attractive garden

We passed several reminders that we were sharing the pilgrimage route- including wells, statues and some intriguing clay tablets with oddly religious themes.

Our route dropped us back down to the river along a pleasant road through Moulin Neuf- New Mill- before forcing us to climb steeply around a power station and dam. Walking round La Boucle we could spot the wooded islands and bends in the river we had photographed from the viewpoint two days before.

Moulin Neuf

Looking for a lunch spot we remembered the benches by the river at Le Confluent, so had a delightful lunch break whilst watching a couple of fishermen cast their lines in the middle of the river.

Again the second part of the route took us high above the river, climbing a track past an unexpected rocky viewpoint back over Le Confluent that I nearly missed.

The hidden viewpoint

Our route was slightly harder to pick up, as it had been changed slightly in places since the map was printed. Mercifully quiet roads and wooded tracks took us through several small villages with a distinctive French character.

It was warm and we were both feeling the effects of the heat and distance as we descended towards Argenton, the land sloping away in the distance towards the town, punctuated in places by the distinctive conical water towers that seem to be a feature here.

Following the Grand Randonnee

Stopping to watch a couple of deer we reached the town as the sky was darkening. We have now completed around a third of the Grand Randonee so may need to go back one day to walk the bottom loop!

Evening light in Argenton-sur-Creuse

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