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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Les Trois Chateau Walk from Turenne

As I've mentioned before we love to do some walking when we're in rural France. It gives you an opportunity to really enjoy the landscape and to get away for the commercial side of tourism, nowhere was this more necessary than in the Dordogne! The Tourist Offices in France often have maps of wonderful short hikes many of which are very well marked. We took a lovely 6 km stroll around Turenne that took us past three Chateaus, hence the name of the walk! As we climbed out of Turenne we were thrilled to see the sun and the break in the rain lasted all afternoon.
What was nice about this walk is that the terrain was varied. We walked through woodlands, farmland and were rewarded with lovely views. 
 As you can see the trail was well signposted though we did need to follow the description too.
At points the trail was marked as the pilgrimage route of St James, see below. However, apart from a single cyclist we saw no one else out walking.

 The view was only improved by this rather romantic ruin right next to a gorgeous farmhouse.
As usual we were wearing our usual gear to walk in, no special equipment needed! Sometime people look like they're ready to climb Everest when they're just out for a Sunday stroll. I'm pretty certain I couldn't climb Everest in this outfit! Lets be honest I couldn't climb it even with all the equipment either.
The wild flowers were abundant and a welcome change given how late spring was this year.
The first chateau was one we passed but couldn't see (what a rip off!), the second was beautifully situated on a hill, photo below. We caught s glimpse of it  and then saw it again at the end of the hike. 
 The final chateau was in Turenne, below.
Walking downhill for the final stretch. At this point we took a slight detour by continuing downhill. When we reached a sign and a  wooden fence across the path we presumed this meant the path was barred and so turned downhill to the left. We  ended up on the main road, apparently you need to cross the fence and keep going.
 Below, wonderful view of a private chateau on the hill to the left as we walked back into Turenne. A gorgeous walk and a highly recommended way to spend a sunny afternoon in spring.


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