The grandchildren came to stay last week and it was perfect weather for them with blue skies and warm sunshine. It was better than when they came in August as at the end of September there is little risk of sunburn and children tend to sleep better on cooler nights.
Maggie and Jo at the playpark at St Point
It was easy to keep the kids amused. They love going swimming and we tried out the lake at St Point. Perhaps it’s not so suitable for very little children as there is no beach and the water becomes deep quite quickly. But there is plenty of shade and a great playpark by the campsite.
The lake at St Point
We also returned to Lac de Laives where the little ones could dig in the sand and paddle. Hardly anyone else was there which surprised me seeing the weather was so good.
The beach at Lac de Laives
Cycling is a new craze for Maggie and we spent a couple of mornings on the voie verte at Massilly.
Maggie on the voie verte
The voie verte is a safe place for learning to cycle or simply going for a walk.
Chris and Jo set off for Cluny
The children like going into the old railway station with its colourful mural. There are tables and chairs inside for people to have lunch if the weather isn’t too good.
Maggie is also keen on horses and our kind neighbour let her ride Duchesse round the field.
And of course there was a visit to Gwendy every day. Gwendy is very gentle and is careful not to munch on little fingers.
Maggie feeding Gwendy
This Indian summer is due to end on Friday but we can’t complain after such a wonderful September.
The station at Cormatin a hundred years ago
Cormatin is lucky enough to be halfway along the voie verte, literally the green path, that runs 117km from north to south in Burgundy. In Cormatin the old railway line has been used, but in a section further north the voie verte runs along the haulage paths of the Canal du Centre which joins the Saône to the Loire. The voie verte is used by walkers, roller bladers and cyclists and is perfectly safe and free of traffic. The old stations along the way provide welcome stops with picnic areas and toilets. There are also bike hire places, the largest of which is at Cluny station.
This afternoon was perfect for cycling, sunny but not too hot, so we had a spin along the voie verte. The surface is very smooth and cycling is effortless. There are junctions where you can turn off and explore the local villages. If you go south you pass Taizé and Cluny is within easy reach. A little further there is a steep downhill to enter the Bois Clair tunnel which is very long and rather chilly. It is closed in the winter to protect the bats which hibernate in the roof.
The voie verte today
If you go north you go past St Gengoux, a small town well worth stopping to explore with its romanesque church and medieval streets. If you carry on you go through the vineyards towards Buxy and there are lovely views over the countryside.
Cluny one way and Buxy the other are as far as I can get by bike so I would be interested to hear from those with stronger legs who have explored further!