Limogne marked the end of my trek, my two-week, 300 kilometre journey south-west from Le Puy through some of France's most stunning scenery. I'd walked almost half-way to the Spanish border. Before catching the bus to the railway station in Cahors, I wandered up into the woods above Limogne in search of this dolmen. It seemed the right thing to do. I'm not sure why.
Dolmens are burial sites of immense antiquity. Most are five to six thousand years old, though some are much older. You can find them in Europe, Asia, India and the Middle East. Interestingly, Korea has the largest concentration of dolmens in the world, probably accounting for 40% of the world's total.
These structures — which consist of several upright stones supporting a flat, horizontal capstone — were usually covered with earth and smaller stones, but in most cases this outer covering has worn away, leaving only the 'skeleton' of the tomb behind.
Here are my backpack and walking poles at the end of the trail. I left them resting against this tree as I examined the dolmen and pondered on time and space and distance, and on how my life had brought me here to this remote spot in rural France, and on love, and the pain and the ecstasy of love, and death, and other weighty matters. Then I took a few photos, shouldered my pack, grasped my walking poles, and set off back down the path to Limogne in the dappled sunlight.
(Dolmen: circa 3500 BC. Backpack and walking poles: circa AD 2010.)