Saffy

Saffy

This morning Saffy and I go walking, a beautiful autumn morning walk. We do this together every day, choosing different paths direct from the house, never repeating the same walk more than twice in a week. Today we head east along the colline, through the woods to Lacoste, down through the village into the valley below, then back up the hill for a total of 8km. It is a typical Provencal autumn day, clear blue skies cleaned by the early signs of a mistral.
First we meet a hunter in the forest. Both he and his dog are concealed, motionless and we would have passed them by except Saffy scented their presence. He shows me a wood pigeon he had shot and I learned the prized bécasse, or woodcock, will not return from its summer breeding grounds in Russia until November. Soon after we encounter three hunting dogs who rush by, totally engrossed in following the scent of sanglier, or wild boar. A beat must be in progress but we do not see the hunters. At these times Saffy wears a bell and I wear an orange fluoro hat for safety. After nearly an hour we emerge at the top of Lacoste village, next to the castle, the former 18th century home of the Marquis de Sade. We pass down through the old cobbled streets of the village, where the oldest house, La Maison Forte dates from the 9th century. Below the village the path follows the course of Le Vieux Chemin de Lacoste, the Old Lacoste Road, where the ancient paving between stone walls is no longer open to traffic. Close to the valley bottom we stop for Saffy to drink from a stream serving an old stonework water storage bassin. Several substantial farmhouses and bastides dot the area, now extensively renovated as summer homes for those who do their banking outside France. One has a beautiful private chapel. We return up the gentle hillside via the Lavoir de Font Pourquière, where Saffy can drink again. Here we discover the first warning notice of a wild boar hunt, long after we have passed through the hunt area. Then we climb back up the steeper hillside, with expansive views east to Apt and north to Goult village and Mont Ventoux. Soon home for a late breakfast. More photos from this morning: HERE

The Marquis de Sade

The Marquis de Sade

Lacoste village

Lacoste village

The Old Lacoste Road

The Old Lacoste Road

Private chapel

Private chapel

A well-earned drink next to an ancient stone bassin

A well-earned drink next to an ancient stone bassin

Country lane

Country lane

Lavoir at Font Pourquière and warning of a wild boar hunt

Lavoir at Font Pourquière and warning of a wild boar hunt