Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Brocante in Le Bugue and the Cave of the Sorcerer

Our first full day in Le Bugue for me started with a ride on the bike out to the east and as I rode, I saw signs advertising a Brocante in Le Bugue. I thought that I must tell Sue on my return.
As I rode, the local train passed by and further up the road I saw a sign that said this way to Grotte de Saint Cirq. My curiosity got the better of me so I rode the small deserted road amongst farms on the lower tracks and then I started climbling into the hills. I missed the turn off to the left as it really wasn't very well sign posted, but returned and found what seemed little more than a private driveway. Towards the end of the road bordered by bamboo and banana trees you enter what was a troglodyte village with caves that have prehistoric paintings of ibex, horses and bison on the walls. Its not on the usual tourist track and I thought I would rush back and tell Sue about my discovery.
I hadn't realised until I researched this site while posting this blog that it is also known as La Grotte du Sorcier - "The cave of the sorcerer" due to the cave drawings within, one of a human (the Sorcier) along with the animals that early man hunted.

An early morning ride on roads unknown is always a delight.
And riding up this paticular road unknown I came across this sight - the hamlet of Saint Cirq.

No one was there, it was deserted, no tourists at all. It was all mine.

Who lived in these hallways behind rock faces and how long ago?

And how many years ago was this little village formed - the caves held paintings of pre-historic man.

The building morphed into the rock face and you wondered what was man formed
and what was natural.

The road back down from Saint Cirq to Le Bugue was like this - heaven on a Spring morning.

More signs were out on the road promoting the Brocante which I mentioned to Sue over breakfast.
So we wandered into the village and decided to put Grotte de Saint Cirq off to the afternoon.
The village was buzzing with people - it was alive and we saw Le Bugue in a different light. The Brocante slithered through the laneways of the village and as wandered aimlessly, we took in the sights of the local architecture, people and the village. I think the colour of the Brocante enhanced Le Bugue beyond our initial earlier expectations. Le Bugue had come alive, as it and the surrounding district would over the next week.

We did go back to Saint Cirq in the afternoon and would you believe, we were the only guests for the tour within, except for the bats that flew overhead when disturbed. We saw the paintings on the cave walls by early man and spent time looking through the small museum of artifacts, and all this due to an early morning ride of discovery.
A link to Grotte Saint Cirq


  1. I'd never heard of the village with the caves either - how interesting! A browse around a brocante is always interesting but I never found anything I wanted to buy. The French like to hoard and have a lot of junk to move on!

  2. Craig, I'm sure your right about the French junk at Brocantes but we really like the atmosphere. As for the caves, plenty more to come on our travels in the Dordogne and later the Bastide towns.

  3. Werner Herzog has a new documentary out about a cave in Southern France. It got really got reviews in the US.
    You can Google "Cave of the forgotten dreams" and watch the trailer. It is not in the Dordogne but it is as amazing as "Lascaux", "Pêche merle"...

  4. Nadege - I will look now. Ta for the hint.


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