Following on from my last post and for the sake of other walkers we were determined to suss out the actual route of the Barrou 'Sentiers Pedestres'. This time (yesterday) we thought we would do the sensible things, like taking the map and going in the right direction!
Leave village from the square and head along Rue de la Mairie past the church...
Continue along Chemin des Magnis...
uphill into the countryside.
This is how sunny it was!
The map suggests you stop and take in the 'panorama' and view the nearby chateau de la Guerche which you can just about make out in the distance...let me zoom in...
- bit better.
Continue uphill into the wood...
where you see the reassuring (and freshly painted) marker for the 'Balisage GRP' route but no single yellow line for the simple 'Balisage -circuits communaux' but lets assume the sign is for both.
Further along you are given further reassurance...
but this time for both though the GRP again freshly painted...perhaps the responsibility for both does not fall to one organization.
You eventually arrive at 'le Rond des Allais' where no less than seven 'cuts' through the woods meet, so your next choice of direction is fairly critical...no problem again for the GRP route...take a left turn - but for us?
Well the 'mauvaise direction' crosses...
and barriers help a little in theory narrowing our choice down to two, continue on the GRP route or take a sharp right back on yourself which is what the map indicates but there is no yellow marker that we could see to guide you.
Now I knew (Pauline was not so sure) not to head along the GRP route but others standing with such a choice might be less sure and should they venture down that route a very short distance they would find what they would think was some reassurance in the form of this yellow single arrow encouraging them to continue...wrong!!
Walking along the correct 'cut' we could see no markers, which for first-time walkers on the path would be a little disconcerting!
They would be further confused on arriving at the barrier at the end of the cut as you are met with a right or left choice and the fact that they seem to have joined a new GRP route!
This is not helped by this collection! Which way now? The faint yellow arrow under the two(?) GRP markings suggests a right turn but wrong again!!
Map indicates its left and eventually it's confirmed by a single yellow marker.
Another good indicator for the first-time walker would be recognising 'le Gaudiau' as indicated on the map - even though its spelt differently on the place name!
This wasn't a problem for us as we were back on a road we had trod a few times this week already.
The map indicates a right turn of the road slightly after 'le Gaudiau' (or Gaudyau) and before the woods on your right but surprise surprise the only thing that looked like access had an 'electric fence' strung across it!
Now we knew that by turning right further down the road along the lane to 'Les Divards' we would pick up the route again.
This route is one we often take as an alternative 'short walk' over to 'la Bellevue' (see map) and down the road past the cemetery back to the village.It means you have to pass the property at Les Divards,taking a right turn and pass through what seems like the owners garden, which puts some people off continuing the walk I'm sure. This walk actually has you turning left down a not very obvious (and unmarked) lane.
You end up in open country with good views of the Creuse Valley
The path (unmarked) takes you up behind 'la Lombarderie'..
Before arriving back on to 'la Bellevue' road and back down to the village.
Here is the map showing our deviation...even for us 'locals' the route has proven to be a bit of a challenge but for tourists and first-timers??
Future guests...don't worry we'll keep you right!