Monday, July 22, 2013

Peace, perfect peace - Lac des Estives

So where does the bestselling author of Sell the Pig choose to go on holiday? Clearly it needs to be in my beloved Auvergne, from which I have not ventured since I arrived in March 2007.

My best friend Jill, whom you may remember from Sell the Pig, came to visit, so together we ventured south to the Cantal, up to the C├ęzallier plateau. We stayed in a funky yellow chalet at the Lac des Estives, at Mongreleix, the highest village in the Cantal.

The estives are the summer pastures where the cattle, mostly Salers and Aubrac, go for the summer to graze on the abundant wild herbs and flowers. The view from our chalet was of the pastures and hills, and we could watch the cattle marching purposefully up and down in the evening, probably going for a drink as they aren't being milked.

Lac des Estives has a good sized lake for fly fishing, well stocked with some large fish, and with the largest collection of different dragonflies I have ever seen in one place.  I also saw a big crayfish. 

It was blissfully quiet and, in between exploring some of the local sites, like the beautiful Brion, famous for its cattle marts, Jill and I spent most of our time just reading and chilling.

We had a wonderfully relaxing time. Our evening meal the first night was taken with hosts Alain and Ghislaine, a lovely couple, very friendly and welcoming. They went to a lot of trouble to produce a meal which I could eat, with my dietary constraints.

Our chalet could sleep six, so at only €300 the week in high season, it's a very reasonable place to stay for a group of friends or a larger family.

Highly recommended, if you like peace and quiet.

So now it's back to work on the sequel.  Just going through editor Victoria Twead's very useful comments and amendments. Then Ant Press will be publishing "Lump" very soon.

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