Words of the actorsChristophe and Olivier
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©Christophe_Olivier©anes de Vassiviere- Peyrat le Château

Words of the actors – Christophe and Olivier

The Donkeys of Vassivière - Peyrat le Château

For a return to the essential, a moment out of time in reconnection with nature, in an unusual place… La ferme des Ânes de Vassivière will be your cocoon for a moment, a night or a stay. Olivier and Christophe will give you a warm welcome in an eco-responsible site, where they will share with you their passion for donkeys, so sweet intelligent and cuddly. Beware these gentle four-legged companions are very endearing. You will fall for this unique and unforgettable family adventure.

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We take you to meet an animal lover who decided to live in the countryside, in Haute-Vienne, in the heart of the Limousin when a career as an architect might have allowed him to travel around the world.
What are the reasons that pushed Christophe to settle in Vassivière to do tourism?
In this portrait Christophe Plateau makes the questions and answers.
He welcomes you to his farm in Champseau for a quiet vacation in the company of his favorite animals: the donkeys.

Why the Haute-Vienne and how long have you resided there?

Rather than a weighed and considered choice, Peyrat-le-Château came naturally when I imagined leaving Paris and my job as an architect, in 2000. It was an obvious choice because this is where my great-grandfather’s farm was, this is where I had spent so many vacations building cabins or herding sheep with the shepherdess and her dogs!

Tell me about your job:

Once I had my agricultural diploma in my pocket, my life project in the Limousin was built around donkeys and hiking. It was a question of combining an agricultural activity (a donkey farm) and tourism (offering hikes around Vassivière). Quickly, a camp-site was born on the exploitation, then a camp of Mongolian yurts and more recently a caravan. The accommodation took more and more importance but the donkey remains in the heart of our activities: itinerant hike, storytelling walk, educational farm…

What do you like most about your job?

I always wanted to get away from Paris to have space and a life in the fresh air. And I am fulfilled!”
Here, nature is not an empty word, something of which we would be spectators. We are part of it, we are part of it and we contribute to it in our small measure as the days go by. It is precious. Another privilege: life with our animals. You learn about yourself in contact with the animals: a good deal of humility, respect, curiosity, and you grow every day from this encounter.

How is your job special, unexpected, or original?

At a time when we live connected, when everything has to go fast, it is no small feat to set out at the pace of the donkey on paths so little traveled that you will not cross paths with anyone during the day. No smartphone, no GPS: we read the map, we take our time. We sometimes get lost but it does not matter (when it is not voluntary!). For some, it is horrifying. For many, it is a “detox” and a source of appeasement.

 

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The confidences of Christophe

What is your favorite village? Why?

Quenouille, without hesitation. On a hillside, its beautiful blond granite houses are literally rooted to the hillside. Water trickles down to the foot of the village: washhouse, watering hole, fountain… Above the houses begins the moor with, at the top, rocks with legend and, in the distance, the volcanoes. Around the hamlet, a real maze of hollow paths, lined with low walls. I always feel a bit of piety in front of these relics of a bygone era for the peasants who put up these walls, for their know-how and their patient work.

What is your favorite nature spot?

It’s true that Vassivière is the closest to us. But my favorite would be Lavaud-Gelade, wilder and more secret. I must confess a touch of selfishness: there are corners on the shores of this great lake that I jealously prefer not to share…

What sports, leisure or relaxation activities do you practice? Where? solo, with family, with friends?

Hiking, of course. And in all weathers because “the morning rain does not stop the pilgrim”! It must be said that around here, there is no shortage of itineraries and it is for me a secret ambition to know every trail in the Pays de Vassivière.

What recipe do you know how to make or like to share with your loved ones?

No meat in our kitchen… Too bad for the Limousine! On the other hand, we have nothing against a pan of chanterelles found by chance on a walk. Just a little butter, salt, pepper: nothing superfluous. And then, this pan has the flavors of autumn, “my mental season” as Apollinaire wrote. It is then that the light is softer, the air fresher, the perfumes sweeter…

As far as new technologies are concerned, you are rather: disconnected, equipped (smartphone, tablet, computer), geek?

Disconnected of course, as much as professional imperatives allow me. In the age of internet and online reservations: out of question to deprive ourselves of a share of customers for whom the net is inescapable. On the other hand, the cell phone, as little as possible: it’s a real luxury to be able, from time to time, to be unavailable…

As the good communicator that he is, follow Christophe’s adventures on his blog

“Les Anes de Vassivière”
Educational farm
Champseau
87470 PEYRAT LE CHATEAU

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