The morning started with heavy rain and thunderstorm surrounding the gite. With breakfast and the storm all done by 09:15, and with the sky brightening, we took to the car and set off. Todays target was Bort des Orgues but as usual we made detours or stopped off en route.
After filling up the fuel tank at Bugeat we pulled over to take in the beautiful vista that is le Lac de Viam. This is an artificial lake which now provides beaches from which many water based leisure activities are launched. And, as well as a feast for the eyes, the lake is an integral part of the French hydro-electricity network.
After enjoying the view we continued on our way, but not for long. Another small detour took us to Le Mont-Bessou just north of the town of Meymac.
Here we climbed the viewing tower
which I have since discovered
is built of Douglas fir, braced with steel cables, and is triangular in plan. 188 steps and six intervening landings, take the visitor to the main viewing platform, which is 26 metres (85 ft) above the ground.
Which probably explains why I came close to being seasick so far away from the sea. The tower resonates with every step as you ascend and never quite seems to settle, never quite stationary. Presumably that is why they have this mounted on the top deck in the middle of the floor.
I’m pleased to say that I did not see the pendulum swing out of the center circle.
All that aside, the views were, despite the clouds, spectacular.
All the fresh air, scenery and climbing the tower had made us hungry. So on we travelled to Bort des Orgues where we sat on the terrace of the Central Hotel overlooking the river and ate a superb lunch.
NB: I just discovered this post, in draft state. I don’t feel it is complete but have submitted it as is because my memories of that day are truly hazy.