Sunday, 6 April 2014

Picnic Weather

Picnic in the woods
We have had such beautiful weather these last few weeks, what else can you do than to go out for endless picnics? And while your on a picnic mission, why not visit a few Romanesque churches on your way? Our latest picnic turned out to be a voyage of discovery.

The source St Thibault
We had heard that there was a chapel near a source called St Thibault, not far from a village called La Chapel-au-Mans. The internet revealed no more information and no pictures, so we were on our own. First we headed for the village in the hope that someone might know where the chapel was. No one in sight.

Up the hill to the chapel
What is it about French villages, they are relatively well inhabited (you can tell that by the open shutters and locally registered cars) but you rarely see anyone, even at the weekend. After scouring the notice boards at the church in case there was a clue there, we were just heading out of town and we saw a notice board with information on local walks and low and behold there was our chapel. It was several kilometres away and we had a long day ahead of us, combined with the “fact” that navigator said he knew what road it was on, so we headed off by car.

Romanesque cheapel, worth the search
Many kilometres further and a random left hand turn landed us in a housing estate (thanks navigator) but at least we saw a person! I zipped out quickly to ask where this chapel might be to be greeted with the reply “Oh goodness, that’s nowhere near here”. I’d figured that one out for myself, but I smiled and asked if she could give me instructions. She seemed hesitant but then she started at speed. It seemed to go like this, you go right here, and keep turning right. The road goes up and down, then you go right again, then the road goes up and down, then you turn right at the house with the well, then the road goes up and down, then you get to the end by a lake and it’s on your right. With all the right hand turns and the ups and downs, I wasn’t at all confident that she either knew where it was or that we would find it. Off we went, turning right and going up and down through some lovely countryside for many kilometres and just when I was about to give up and knock on a farmhouse door, there it was!

Well worth the detour. The climb and the picnic were worth it too.

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