In love with Cantal area from the first time I went there, and in love with yarn and everything related to it, walking and see a sheep transhumance seemed like an awesome thing to do.
Thanks to my new spinner and knitter friends around here (Christelle, alias Seraphita), I’ve disovered that it was possible to hike and follow a transhumance, in my favorite part of France, Cantal.
I’ve missed it last year because of a very busy agenda, and this year I almost missed it for the same reason.
But I finally made it, deciding to follow the 10th stop off this transhumance between the Lot valley and volcanoes in Cantal.
This days started in Lascelle and ended 8 miles later, in Mandailles St Julien, going through little hiking paths, with a loooooonnnnnnnnnnnn lunch break for a pique-nique.
Located about 2hours away from my home, I had to wake up really early and hit the road, because the transhumance started at 9am.
But it was definitely worth it, as you can see, to arrive in early morning in Col du Perthus !
What a view !
About 250 sheeps ( Caussenarde breed), and around 30 hikers.
What was nice is that for a 3€ fee, they offer you at the end of the day, a ride back to the start of the transhumance, to get you car back !
So before we start, here are some rules to follow during our hike :
Always hike behind the farmer, no pets allowed, and touching sheeps are not allowed either.
(no matter how tempting it was)
We finally left a bit late, but the dog were ready even before us !
Here we go for an amazing day out in the Cantal countryside (checking the sheep’s butt) but also breathing the incredible smell of broom flowers and other aromatic plants in the nature.
As soon as we started, we already spotted a rebel one, trying to get out of the flock, but brightly put back there by the sheepdog (not knowing its name, I’ll call these dogs SUPER DOGGIE) 🙂
What’s amazing is that all day long, they ate NON-STOP !
There was always a little rebel trying to escape from the group to get a branch, or a piece of grass elsewhere, or a pretty (yummy?) flower…
It was kind of hilarious to watch, and very interesting too because Dogs were constantly watching them.
we had an audience too ! 🙂
and the hike went up and up to the hills and mountains ! 🙂
a duo of donkeys joined us all the way,
and it was already lunch break, on the side of the road, having a very lovely moment talking with each others
Trying also to connect on our phones or internet (nothing worked for me but I believe it was for the best)
A good time to get some rest also for the SUPER DOGGIES too !
A bathroom break behing a bush, spied by scary bugs (yes, please, laugh at me, but be reminded that I was a city girl not so long ago. I’m still working on my fears) 🙂
And already time to get back to hike !
(can you spy the boulimics ones ?)
Monitored by super doggie, nothing could ever go through them !
Few more little villages to cross…
But of course, talking about transhumance and villages means : WATCH OUT FOR YOUR GERANIUMS !
Bon appétit !
Some of them even brought their own lunch with them 🙂
And then, a tough path, narrow and slidy (it rained a lot last week and that area was all muddy and rocks slides too).
And that’s when you have to admire and applause the farmer and its dog’s work !
Awesome to watch
And another audience (beautiful Salers cows – yes, the ones who made this delicious Salers cheese! The city of Salers is just 20minutes away from this area)
And finally !
My only regrets for that day was to go back home right away.
Arriving at 4pm, they sold local food (cheese, crepe and local alcohool), and then there was a special dinner with yummy local specialties on the menu)
But I was exhausted (by the hike, but also by the 2 hours drive to get there this morning), and had another 2 hours to drive to go back home.
But well, that’s a good excuse to make it back and spend more than a day at the transhumance next year !
and I can’t wait !
Check your agenda and if you want to follow the transhumance next year, have a look at their website or their Facebook page