January isn’t being nice at the moment. It’s raw and grey and all rather depressing. But rather than fall into the Slough of Despond (the only thing I can remember from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress despite studying at length in my English Lit course!) we roused ourselves for a spot of local geocaching. And, as we so often do, we discovered a hidden treasure we had no idea existed, even though, in this case, it’s only about 10km away.

It’s la fontaine (spring) de St Loup (St Wolf) at St Preist la Marche just across the border in neighbouring Indre.

st priest st wolf well building

The spring is kept covered by a large glass lid.

st priest st wolf well

Even Nessie gave us a hand hunting for the cache!

st priest nessie geocaching

Trying to find out more about la fontaine, I came across this site, which has a few facts. The building it’s covered by was built some time after 1810, as it doesn’t appear on the cadastral of that year. It’s built in the barrel vault semicircular style. So there we go!

We potted on into the village and came across a walk through some woods. First we passed a nicely done up lavoir…

st priest lavoir

… and a confluence of we think the Indre with another river. The Indre rises just a few kms away so that ‘s why it’s still so tiny.

st priest confluence

Someone has been busy in this wood and cleared the path, here cutting through a fallen tree.

st priest tree gateway

But when they got to this one, we think they must have run out of petrol for the chainsaw!

st priest tree gateway not finished

There was a long-abandoned house or possibly a mill since it was close to the river.

st priest old house

It had the remnants of a bread oven that Chris coveted. The one at Les Fragnes was knocked down before we moved in, which is such a shame.

We gathered some mistletoe berries on the walk back to the car since there were a lot scattered over the roadside after some rather brutal hedgecutting (fauchage) that had been going on recently. Rors plans to smear them on some of our trees so we have our own handy supplies of gui each Christmas.

And this evening, despite not having a drop of Scottish blood in our veins (although I do have a Scottish brother-in-law and spent a year at Stirling University) we’ve had a Burns Night supper of haggis (as close as I could get with minced beef and without resorting to a sheep’s stomach) and tipsy laird for pudding. It helps to lift the January gloom.