To the Bakery and Back


Each morning I walked into the village to buy the day’s bread, sometimes with Andy, but usually on my own. The bread was delicious, but I enjoyed the walk too. These photos are from those walks and also from other times when we had occasion to walk into Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. That first photo is looking back towards the campsite from a very misty morning, although the mist was rapidly clearing.

This is the same view…


…on a relatively cloudy day and this…


…is a panoramic view from a little further along the road, in more typical weather conditions.

The view in the other direction was very much dominated by the village and the Chateau towering above it, and often, in the mornings, montgolfières rising above that.


Here’s part of the village…


…when the mist had just about dissipated.

Not only were the views excellent, but the meadows along the route held lots of interest too.  These blue flowers dominated…


I think that the flowers are Meadow Clary, a relative of Sage, which has a very limited distribution in Britain, but seems to be abundant in France. The insect is a Hummingbird Hawkmoth which is only seen as a migrant in Britain, although by coincidence I saw one today whilst out for a local wander. I also often saw Hummingbird Hawkmoths flying along a wall which bounded part of the road, seemingly investigating nooks and crevices, although I’m not sure why they would do that.



…is a Broad-bordered Bee Hawkmoth, which can, apparently, also be found in Britain, but not in our area and I’ve certainly never seen one before.

One of the things I loved about our visit to France was the profusion of butterflies, although they weren’t always cooperative in posing for photos.


This Scarce Swallowtail was kind however, and moved a little closer after I took that first photo…


Wild Carrot flowers were also very common in the meadows and where the flowerheads had curled in on themselves and gone to seed there was a very good chance that you could see Striped Shield Bugs…


…they were hard to miss!


Spider’s webs, on the other hand, only became obvious when the mist washed them with silver droplets.


The wall alongside the road was home, appropriately enough, to Wall Lizards.


These two are my favourites from the many photos I took.


The area around the wall also seemed to be the territory of some small orange butterflies which eluded my camera at first, but then turned out to be Gatekeepers which we see at home.


I think that this first one is on a Hemp Agrimony flower and that this one…


…is on Horse Mint.

The road crossed a bridge over the Céou which was a good place for spotting fish and also more Beautiful Demoiselles…





Right at the end of our stay, we came down to the bridge because some of the party wanted to emulate some swimmers we had seen by leaping from a high branch into the water.

In the event, only E managed it, not because of the height of the jump, but because of the difficulty of climbing the tree – there was a crude ladder of planks nailed to the tree-trunk, but one of the rungs was missing. Here’s E just before she jumped…


The rest of us had to content ourselves with jumping from the bridge itself or from a small wall beside it…


Which, frankly, was quite high enough for me.

To the Bakery and Back

16 thoughts on “To the Bakery and Back

  1. I was obviously too bleary eared in the morning to spot all that stuff although after a lesson from you I did try looking. I always really enjoy thevwalks in the morning to get bread which I always do on French holidays, as much for the joy of the fresh bread smells in the bakery as the walk. I have some burst action shots of the bridge and tree jumps coming in later posts. So much interest on such a short walk

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I like a pre-brekfast walk too. Our co-op does croissants and pain-au-chocalat (pale imitations obviously) and sometimes, when we’re off, I get into the habit of strolling down there in the mornings to get some for the boys – not a walk to compare with the one in France, but I just think a short wander before breakfast gets you off to a good start.

      1. Sadly the walk to our village shop to collect a pack of week old factory produced pastries isn’t quite as attractive! I miss those morning strolls to the bakery especially with my nature guide 😀

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          I’m missing the company, the wildlife the swimming, the scenery, the walk to the bakery and especially the weather – it’s tipping it down again here!

  2. Brilliant as always. Gives you a real zing to spot creatures you’ve never seen before and that village is picture perfect. French bread is amazing… up until the 3rd day out when heavy chewing is required.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The bakery was always very, very busy each morning and deservedly so. They had a huge assortment of breads and savouries and cakes, you’d have to stay nearby for quite a time to be able to sample them all. All of the breads we tried were delicious. I don’t think any of them lasted to a third day!

      1. I think the fact that’s it needs to be eaten quickly proves that it’s not packed with all sorts of stuff to keep it fresh. It’s indicative of the difference between the two nations that in France the demand is for a local fresh bakery in every village and every few streets in towns and cities. In the UK our demand gets us Greggs!

  3. It’s against the law to put any additives or preservatives in bakery bread in France- not sure if that would work in the UK as it has to be eaten that same day. Even second day it’s not as tasty or fresh so loads would be dumped in bins in Britain I’d assume. Different culture and traditions. I like Greggs. The grey meat fillings proves its healthy stuff 🙂

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I like Greggs, nothing wrong with Greggs, but it is a shame that we don’t have local bakeries like France does. I couldn’t continue to eat as much bread on a daily basis as I did in France though. I suppose the best bet is to make your own bread.

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