Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From Beaulieu to Port de Gagnac, day 2 of our walk

We had a very leisurely morning due to the fact that today's hike was only 9.5 km, (5.89 miles) and we were advised not to arrive in our next village during the busy lunch time.  This trip has been so relaxing, particularly the last week or so and we love not having any deadlines.  We have all day to walk to our next location.  I must say, Inn Travel, the company who organized the walk, has been fantastic with their daily step by step directions.  We haven't been lost once!

This lovely place was just perched there along the way.  I actually gasped when I saw it.

And this interesting double butterfly is something I've never seen before.

Happy hiker along the trail with route markings for walkers and cyclists

These friendly gentlemen rushed to greet us.  I don't think they see too many people.

I keep smiling to myself when I think about the fact that we are walking through the French countryside, through tiny hamlets and near gorgeous rivers.

We arrived in the town of Port de Gagnac and this was our first sight, the River Cere, right in front of our hotel.

Auberge du Vieux Port (Inn of the Old Port) with remnants of our much needed coffees.  Our hostess, Nathalie, was so friendly and welcoming.  Dinner at 7:30.

We have a view of this cemetery from our window, so we decided to extend our hike up the hill and through the village.  We're glad we did.  It's a tiny, quiet little place and we found a place to relax with some iced tea before heading back.

Just your ordinary residence in the village.

Our dinner tonight was four courses.  A first for both of us.  With some help from Nathalie, we picked out the wine, ordering a half bottle, just right for us.  Our terrace dining area was warm and charming.  I realized that we've eaten every meal outside except for Les Caves and that was only because I wanted to eat in a cave.

My starter was smoked salmon over vegetables cut into tiny little pieces, as well as smoked duck (or as Nathalie said, "duck smoke".  I wasn't sure what she meant at first.  It was exquisite.

My main dish was fish with legumes (vegetables) and a mild salsa-like sauce.  Delicious.

Chuck's starter was roquefort cheese melted on red bell pepper and pastry, topped by a sweet pastry crown with walnuts.

Chuck's main course was duck with potatoes, legumes and pate. Extraordinary.  He's ready for a gastronomic tour of Europe.

Our third course was cheese--unfortunately I had already started before I remembered to take a picture.  Wonderful and rich and I could only eat about half.  Chuck was horrified that I left it on my plate.

The piece de resistance, the speciality dessert of the house:  flambee quercynoise, a sort of Baked Alaska, a recipe passed down through the generations.  INCREDIBLE!  Other diners were turning in their chairs to watch and comment.  We noticed a few others having it after seeing ours. 

As delicious as it was, I could only eat half and that was pushing it.  It had cake, custard and ice cream inside.  Beautiful.

Thank goodness we're doing an 11 mile hike tomorrow.  We plan to leave as early as possible to take advantage of the cool morning.  I am blissed out.

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