France guided walking tour, St James's Way with donkeys

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Responsible tourism

France guided walking tour, St James's Way with donkeys

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

In the remoter areas of France where the St James Way starts, goats and sheep are the big cheesemakers so we buy the local cheeses and wines. The wines are quite varied from Estaing wine to Saint Pourηain to Lou Sang del Pais of Domaine du Cros at Marcillac. All these wines are made by small producers who cannot export and need every bit of help they can get to sell their ware. Once you leave the Auvergne though you start into the cow pastures of the Margeride and Aubrac moors. The cows here are Charelais, Montbeliarde and Aubrac. Fourme d'Ambert and Saint Nectaire are the most popular cheeses of the Massif Central and they are absolutely delicious. Water here is delicious and can vary in flavour depending on which spring you take it from. Springs are also good for refrigeration so a bottle left in a spring is much better than a refrigerated bottle and of course much greener!

Community

We do all sorts of visits to the small shopped artisans that one finds along the way. They are normally found in the slightly larger towns like Puy en Velay and Conques but there are wood turners and cheesemakers that one can find in the smaller villages. It is important to us to support the cultural diversity that we walk through wherever we can. Engaging with the local community is quintessential to getting to know the essence of the area we are walking through. John Berger's book Pig Earth talks of the importance of the peasant in land culture and it is often peasants, wrinkled as the earth itself, who we can stop to talk to and hear some tale or other of woe or joy be it historical or contemporary. Peasant is not a derogatory term in these European lands. It is a term of respect for people who, like bees to the world, are an essential part of the tending of Mother Earth.

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