Saignes had been quite a detour from the direct line of our progress across the Auvergne, but we had been forced to go there in order to have somewhere to stay. It had been remarkably difficult for us as walkers to chart a route through this relatively unpopulated part of the world.
A few kilometres after leaving Saignes, we had the advantage of a decommissioned railway line, now a cycle path, to take us south in style, but eventually it ran out and we had to face some steep climbs and descents.
After Mauriac we had a little adventure on a road that was barred to the public, but it all worked out for the best and we ended the day in the sweet little hilltop village of St-Privat.
We had entered the district known as the Xaintrie, a rich plateau high above the Dordogne.
This northern part was called Xaintrie Blanche, while the part to the south, stretching as far as the river Cère, was Xaintrie Noire.
We were warned as we left St-Privat that it would be hotter down on the Dordogne but we did not believe it.
We were proved wrong in a decisive fashion once we got to the river, and we suffered greatly before arriving at the blessed haven of the Argentat camping ground.
Day 10: Saignes to Mauriac
Day 11: Mauriac to Saint-Privat