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PLACES TO LIVE IN THE HEART OF CANTAL AUVERGNE

In this eternal Summertime - a transitional period between summer and autumn, which our American cousins have usually called Indian summer - the road is beautiful (so are also the small bush roads) and as such appeals to walkers, cyclists and riders.

Alternating walks in complete confidentiality on this land of wide open spaces while discovering the small heritage... from fountains to perched Romanesque churches, without forgetting the lava stone ovens or sculpted crosses. This is how to precisely live Cantal to the full in a relationship that touches both the intimate and the sacred. That's how I get on my bike today with the willing to go biking through the Pinatelle forest of yellow, red and gold. On the Cézallier plateau, my soft pace gives me time to observe the calves in the summer pastures at leisure as much as it allows them to stare at me slowly.

Walking also gives action its letters of nobility: here, I like to talk about contemplating action or the art of advancing in full consciousness, taking full advantage of the landscape, the caress of the sun, a small background of tonic air, the silence of these isolated lands.

By bike, you may wish to climb up to Le Puy Mary, for the most determined cyclists, and from up there contemplate the star-shaped layout of the valleys that have become part of the landscape after millions of years of volcanic activity. Quite awe-inspiring a scenery!

Horseback riding can add to the discovery of these highlands the friendly bond with the animal. At the equestrian centre of Chalinargues, you are quickly embarked on a dazzling and characteristic horizontal vertigo of the territory, while Thierry Lhermitte, french actor and ethologist, may add to the joy of this excursion his sensitive fibre in order to make you taste ethology: the happiness of (re)finding the link to the horse, man's best friend, isn't it said?

What about you ? How would you be most tempted to enjoy the highlands of Cantal? On foot? By bike? On horseback?

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