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Black Hole

Short Story by Les Furnanz  October 1, 2009

The Inspiration for "Black Hole" - The Story Behind the Story
  My wife, Rita, and I discovered the Célé Valley via a one-page article in the French journal, France-Amerique . The monthly magazine has a regular feature that highlights out-of-the-way locations in France. Within the month we had managed to find a week-long home rental there. Our abode was a converted stone barn in the fields at the base of the cliffs, close to the village of Marcilhac with its 150 residents. We spent the week hiking to the plateau, exploring the cave of Pech Merle with  Europe's oldest evidence of man, cycling along the river between its six villages, and enjoying "la vie francaise" The entire area still rested in the beautiful laurels of its medieval history. During the course of that week the story line of "Black Hole" began to form in my mind. There must be other cave chambers like Pech Merle's, awaiting discovery in the beautiful Célé Valley.

We will always remember the spirit of the people we met in Marcilhac : the valley's only boulanger who baked incredible bread and pastries, the traveling boucher who visited Marcilhac once a week in his motorized wagon full of unique cuts of meat, Cahor's retired policeman who had recently resettled in tiny Saint Sulpice and rented us bicycles, the guide at Pech Merle who conveyed her incredible passion for the beloved grotto and its 25,000-year history. Not a soul spoke English, so it was a great experience for a sometime Francophile like myself. The only tourists we meant were from close-by towns of central France. Places like this are meant to be discovered.

Take a few minutes to peruse the photos below. You may  decide it's worth a visit. The Web links will provide some assistance in getting you oriented.

To your own discoveries,
Les Furnanz

Wikipedia reference on Pech Merle:

Pech Merle Web site:

Marcilhac-sur-Cele Google map:

Abode - Cele Valley
Our converted barn rental near Marcilhac
Cele Vallley Scene
The Cele Valley near St. Sulpice
Troglodyte homes of Cabreret, near Pech Merle
Espargnac Church
Espargnac church
Lot River
Lot River where the Cele River joins it
St Cirque Lapopie
St. Cirque Lapopie




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