A couple of days at St Cyprien (bottom left on France map) is as snuggled up to Spain as we go until February.
St Cyprien, plage et port
Despite the bright sunshine the weather is much colder now and all the t-shirts and sandals are back in the suitcase for a few months and the scarves, hats and gloves are out. Luckily I’ve got the new chunky jumper (and matching hat) finished and all sewn up as it really is that cold. There’s a rather brisk wind (gale) coming straight off Les Pyrénées Catalanes which are only a few kilometres away and look to be dusted with icing sugar, the first dusting of the winter.
Les Pyrénées Catalanes + icing sugar
From here it doesn’t look as if the chains will be needed although I know where they are and how to fit them – no 3,000€ fine for me! My route was decided before the sugar sifter was used overnight and that route takes us up and over to Ax-les-Thermes and a zig-zag and very slow meander north. Well that’s the plan …
at the moment!
☃️ ☃️ ☃️
Night two was a PF site, a farm with a wonderful view of the snow covered Puy de Dome in the Massif Central. At several hundred metres up it was a touch cold with an icy wind; the little hamlet was typically French, the villagers friendly and M. Guy, the farmer, very helpful. If you’re familiar with the geography of France you may be aware that the Massif Central is not on the direct route from Dieppe to Perpignan. You therefore may very well have come to the conclusion that I have, somewhat predictably, deviated from Plan A (only took 24hrs!).
I’ve decided to go to Aix-en-Provence, for no better reason than one of my favourite authors having set a book with some wonderfully descriptive narrative in that area. Following there, the remainder of this trip will be a very slow return to Dieppe via anywhere I deem sufficiently interesting! I might even have another try at the Carmargue, hopefully before the mozzie season gets underway, as I make my way over to Perpignan and the south-west, which remains on the sufficiently interesting list at present.
During the drive down my old favourite the A75 from Clermont-Ferrand this morning, just as I was fancying a cup of coffee, I found a services with a patisserie and a wonderful view of the Viaduc du Garabit designed and built by Gustave Eiffel. I could bore you with technicalities, suffice to say it is long, it is high, it carries a railway, it is still in use and it is rather beautiful.
Third night campsite is alongside the young river Tarn near its source, an idyllic spot surrounded by forested mountains and, once off the A75, reached by some very squiggly green lines – superb fun driving. Wine-o’clock was spent outside in a sleeveless T-shirt soaking up some very warm sun – blissful.
Unfortunately the idyll was rather spoiled by discovering and removing (hopefully, but I’m not certain I got it all) a tic from the muzzle of a surprisingly compliant and uncomplaining little white Furface.
🙂 🙂 🙂
The rain has lessened, flood waters are receding and wildlife is reappearing. The ground is still very sodden – obviously these little fellas have their burrow high enough up the slope for them to have remained safe.
I took this with the new telephoto at 300 mm and am really pleased with the lack of too much noise on the heavy crop –
Popped into Henley to collect an online order on Saturday. As I arrived in the shop the young assistant was finishing playing a riff on the air drums so I topped it off for him with a roll and a ting on the high hat. There followed a discussion on our respective preferences for air instruments and then he told me all about the air guitar world championships. I must remember to check them out on youtube.
I just love the guys in Rohan – they’re so ….. human (and very slightly mad, like me)!
(see “It finally happened” Freddy Mercury)
As a non-Christian I do not send christmas cards. I wish my Christian friends a happy and peaceful one! To people of other religions and those of none, like myself, soon to be celebrating the coming of longer days (in the northern hemisphere) and the new year, I also wish a happy and peaceful holiday season!