Today we ventured into La Brenne National Parc, heading for the village of Rosnay- we were hoping to see some wildlife and were not disappointed when a pine marten ran out in front of the car before thinking better of it and doubling back.

We had a card detailing a number of walks, but as we are keen walkers and all we felt that they wouldn’t be long enough for us and extended the longest one by using a long-distance (Grand Randonee) trail that twists its way around La Brenne.

La Brenne consists of hundreds of lakes of varying sizes, all of which were apparently created by monks in the middle ages. Some of the lakes are emptied at various times for management reasons, but they are a haven for wildlife and a huge draw for bird spotters. We were walking rather than wildlife spotting but we still saw egrets, giant egrets, an eagle and two purple herons.

Rosnay

The lakes are connected by a vast network of grassy paths through shrubland, heath and woods- it very much reminded me of the Brecks area in Norfolk and Suffolk. Occasionally we passed through attractive hamlets and walked down quiet, straight roads. I imagine that it could be fairly easy to get lost if you were walking with no map as parts of it looked very similar.

French vaches

Lunch was in an attractive spot between two lakes although I soon realised I was sitting on an ants’ nest when the tiniest ants started to swarm over me.

Lunch stop

The weather was strange- mainly sunny and warm, but every so often showers would develop very quickly and fiercely. As we struggled with waterproofs we could see clear blue skies beyond the rain clouds and knew it would pass fairly soon. As soon as the sun was back out small lizards scampered away into the undergrowth with every other step.

Hamlet in La Brenne

We had another stop later on near a large lake for a cuppa from our flasks, where using Helen’s binoculars we were able to watch a couple of coypu. They resembled little beavers and when swimming all you can see are a couple of brown dots for head and rump.

La Brenne reflections

We weren’t in a rush and stopped often to indulge in a bit of nature spotting and a snack, plus we found a visitor’s centre to explore. It was also fairly easy walking and by the time we returned to Rosnay we had covered a quite impressive 16 miles.

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