After a week of fine weather, our journey from the Corrèze to the Auvergne was made under grey, rainy skies. The rain cleared the next day, leaving the woodland tracks streaming water and the countryside very lush.

Pitelet is a tiny village miles up a mountain in the heart of logging country. It’s not a place where you pop round to the boulangerie for breakfast croissants – the nearest shops are a 1-hour round trip. Our accommodation was a superbly maintained gite called ‘la Maison de Réflexion’ where one of our duties was to keep the wild birds fed in the garden.