Knackered from travelling most of the day before and very little sleep on the overnight ferry due to losing an hour to the time difference and quite possibly drinking beer until 1:30am, we decided to make use of a card detailing a variety of walking routes we found in the gite.

Le Pont Chretien-Chabanet, where we were staying, is a lovely part of rural France, in the Indre Department near La Brenne National Parc- the ‘land of a thousand lakes’. Our gite was rustic but charming, part of a converted mill with its own balcony overlooking a stream.

View from the balcony

We set off on a route which wound its way through the village of Chabanet- I love walking in a different country. There was something familiar about the buildings we passed but also different somehow- their construction, the muted colours and the whole feel of the place. Each village had kept its own well, often topped with a little red tiled roof. I enjoy the feeling that I am exploring a different culture and way of life.

Chabanet

Our route passed an impressive multi-arched railway viaduct to cross the river by way of a covered wooden bridge, a unique structure and the only one in France apparently. As we walked beneath the crossed wooden beams we did ponder the practicalities of this as the covering does restrict the size of the load that can be carried across.

The covered bridge

We skirted woodland, watching out for scampering red squirrels, before returning to the village where we made good use of a picnic bench by the turreted Mayor’s Office for lunch.

As it had been a fairly short walk, we decided to try another of the routes in the afternoon. This one passed through fields and quiet roads, with a landscape that could have been reminiscent of England apart from huge balls of mistletoe in the trees. Walking routes are marked with coloured tape or splashes of paint on trees, rocks and road sign posts so need a certain amount of vigilance!

Mistletoe… lots of it!

A quiet road walk brought us back into the village after successfully negotiating our way round ten miles in total for the day which we were more than happy with.

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