James of the Walking Party, based in south-west France, needs some more walkers for their September walks.
HAUT QUERCY – 2640 euros – 17 to 24 September, 2016
Large, beautiful, long-eared donkeys and their muleteer, Mag, will be accompanying the walkers with James for 3 days of this week, which begins in the cliff-top medieval village of St Cirq Lapopie. The trip will include walking to the Chateau Cénévières perched dramatically above the river Lot and having one of their picnic lunches in the courtyard of the chateau or, if the weather does not permit that, in front of a roaring fire – sipping aperitifs with the owners. This is their flagship walk, and picnics abound on this walk more than any other. Picnics are always a favourite because of the comfort of sitting in a chair, eating scrumptious food, surrounded by wild flowers and birdsong and then the inevitable siesta stretched out on rugs with cushions.
ST JAMES’ WAY – 2640 euros – 3 to 10 September, 2016
James and Diana thoroughly enjoyed walking this new route in the Spring – a very different landscape from southwest France. This historical pilgrims’ route takes you from Le Puy en Velay through the fields and dry stone walls of the Margeride onto the vast high plateaux scattered with granite rocks moved by ancient glaciers. Then it’s down through the woods with bubbling streams to the unbelievably pretty village of Conques and a night in a 4 star hotel.
CATALUNYA – 2890 euros – 29 April to 6 May, 2017
Finally, think about CATALUNYA for next year. This year was the first time they had been there in April and the hills were absolutely covered in wild cistus, asphodels and lavender and as they walked, their feet kicked up heady aromas of wild thyme and mint. The balance of walks and picnics with a touch of Barcelona culture appreciating Gaudi’s architecture was appreciated by all. The sun shone every day and the week ended in style in a Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking the bay and chateau of Collioure.
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