The highlight of Monday July 27 was the climb by the D680 from Dienne to Pas de Peyrol, 1589 m altitude. As they approached the pass, many cyclists and hikers scolded each other to climb the coast, for the latter a goat trail led to the summit. The descent to Aurillac via the D17 is just as remarkable. The city of Aurillac did not hold my attention given the virtual absence of parking for motorhomes. I continued to the City of Encanjac. The temperature reached 37 ° C!
|Les Monts du Cantal|
Tuesday July 28 the D35 departmental road led me to Salers, here, via the Legal pass; it zigzagged through hamlets, pastures of salt cows and a few clumps of thin conifers. I arrived in Salers around 8.30 am, no tourists. What happiness! But a bad hour because the delivery trucks crowded the Tyssandier-d'Escous place, I waited until 9.30 for it to be cleared. A resident informed me that the Church of St-Mathieu opened at 10.00; que nenni at 10.15 it was still closed? Information taken at the store opposite there is no definite time. I went my way before the horde of tourists came down. Okay, Salers is well restored, the houses are occupied by shops and restaurants. All car parks are paid at a flat rate of 3 €. I decided to go and scamper myself on the slopes of Puy Violent, here, by taking a local road. The parking lot is at an altitude of 1370m and the summit at 1592m. Shoes and a walking stick, I went to the ladder that crossed the barrier to cover the last few meters. But the steep incline dissuaded me from going any further. I bivouacked in the parking lot.
On Wednesday July 29, I left the bivouac at Puy Violent at daybreak to descend to St-Paul-de-Salers and the Recusset circus to travel the Vallée du Mars from Falgoux to Moussages via the narrow road D12. Then, from Riom-ès-Montagnes, I followed the Cheylade Valley, here, with a visit to the former St-Léger priory, attested by the 11th century Roman church. This approximately 100 km trip offers splendid landscapes of volcanic Auvergne with its Puys interspersed with narrow valleys with shady wooded slopes and sunny slopes with mossy stone houses. Each village has a Roman-style church, the oldest of which date back to the 11th century attesting to the ancestral Catholic faith. I bivouacked above the Col de Serre (Pass of Serre).
What Puy means: here
Thursday July 30 was another departure at daybreak to be at 8.00 am in Issoire,here. I was there. So I found a parking lot near the grain hall and I visited the city center with my hand out of the horde of tourists. Of course, as I have already mentioned, in the south of France the population is not early in the morning, no commerce, no museum open before 10.00 except the bistros! The Clock Tower, the city's former belfry, shows me the way to the central square, Place de la République, with its fountain in line with the belfry and a few 15th century mansions. The St-Austremoine abbey is the church of a 12th century Benedictine abbey typical of the Roman style of Auvergne. As you enter the shop on the right, a 15th century mural depicts a doomsday in an unorthodox humorous style. The choir offers an ambulatory, the pillars of which are decorated with historized capitals. The crypt contains a modern-style Virgin, 1945, embedded in the ambulatory. Exiting the rear of the abbey has a very harmonious apse whose carvings above the windows show the signs of the zodiac, including Leo. Around 10.30 I returned to take my vehicle to park on a rest area seen in the morning in the village of Lempdes-sur-Allagnon.
|Jugement dernier 15e siècle|
|Aire de repos, Lempdes-sur-Allagnon|
Friday, July 31 Météo France announced a scorching day of + 39°C. Once again, leaving early in the morning, I stopped at St-Nectaire, here, to take pictures of the St-Nectaire church built in 1150 in the Roman style of Auvergne. Ravaged by the French Revolution, it underwent a long and patient restoration. I did not visit it, the opening hours were not posted. I continued my trip in the mountains by the D996 to the town of Mont-Dore, then by the D36 to the Col (pass) de la Croix St-Robert at 1451 m altitude, where I decided to stay hoping for freshness. I took the opportunity to stretch my legs by traversing a small part of the GR4 which climbs from the parking lot to the top of Puy-de-Sancy where I was not going. I was doing 3.19 km round trip, see map below.
On Saturday August 1st I continued around Puy-de-Sancy by three crater lakes, Lac Chambon overflown by aerostats, here, and the charming little Lac Pavin without forgetting Lac Chauvet. Then two churches, the Vaissivière chapel and the closed church of Chastreix and finally the service area of La Tour d'Auvergne by the lake. At around 3.30 p.m. a violent thunderstorm hit the air.
After a rainy and stormy night the temperature dropped to 19°C. On Sunday August 2, I left La Tour d'Auvergne in the rain and fog crossing Mont-Dore, still sleeping. I strolled between 1000 and 1300 m altitude over mountains and valleys in dramatic escarpment landscapes. I did the loop from Lake Aydat, Nadaillat, St-Saturnin, Olloix back to Aydat. Bingo, the Notre-Dame de St-Saturnin church, here, was open. It is in the Auvergne Roman style characterized by its apse and its ambulatory of the choir. The crypt has a sculpture of the descent from the cross. I bivouacked in the Aydat parking lot behind the church.