Wednesday, May 30, 2007

France trip, 2007

Hi all,
I have to say, it's really hard to sort through the hundreds of pics I took in France. I'm getting there, but thought you'd like the first 'instalment' to be going on with. I am up to the day we went into some fantastic caves, the grottes de grand canalettes. This was an incredible experience, and I think there are some really good photo's. Of course, NOTHING can do it justice like being there. Those are to come, but for now here's from day one.

These are the people that made it all possible, Brenda and Mannes. We are eternally grateful to them for everything. You just could not buy a holiday like they gave us. They ran us everywhere in the car, knew all the very best places, fed us like kings, had patience when we wanted to take pictures, go further, stay longer, climb higher, and never ONE sigh or cross word. Saints, the pair of them! The dog is Robi, he belongs to Mannes. Robi found the leg of an Izzard (an antelope) on a day walk. God KNOWS where he got it, but within only three hours, the three dogs (Brenda has two Samoyedes) had devoured it, fur, toes, the LOT. Again, those pics later.
This is Brenda's lovely house, 'Les Samoyedes in a little village called 'Nyer' (pronounced knee-air). The balcony on the left is right outside my bedroom, bliss, whatever the weather.

"Make sure you have your boots on - you are walking straight off the plane".
They were the instructions from Brenda. We did a lovely walk through the vineyards, then it turned into quite serious climb to a tower on top of a hill. A good warm-up for what was to come in the following days.

That was where we were making for, that tower. As you can see, it was a lovely, warm day.
You may also deduce that the hill it sits atop looks VERY steep.

I went to France last August, with the sole objective of getting to the top of 'Le Canigou'. At a tad under 10,000 feet, it's the highest I've been on foot. I can tell you now, it is HELLISH cold at that height! No chance of going up there this time of the year though. As you can see, there is a lot of snow

I love this picture. It's got it all, the mountains, the snow, and the flowers.

On the walk down, we passed through a lovely village. There was a ruin on top of a hill, so of course, we climbed up to it for pictures. Brenda & Mannes, as usual, waited patiently for us.

Aren't these little villages just too nice for words?
(But what do the people all DO for a living????)

What a lovely vista.

The ever-present vineyards. The vines had tiny grapes on them, we were FAR too early!

Another view of Canigou.
Mannes' house has a wonderful view of this mountain, which he loves dearly.
Looking across the valley to the mountains.

We were sent out on our own this day, to go up the Caranca gorge. Brenda wouldn't take the dogs, as it's far too dangerous.
You'll see why soon. I actually was drawn off the path by what we could see above us, so we had to go back again later in the holiday, led by Brenda, to do it again, and it was WELL worth it.

Once I saw THIS above us - I made a bee-line for them! If only I'd known, these are good, but the BEST balconies were further up the gorge, where Brenda told us to go. I am too impulsive!

As we climbed higher up the gorge, the views got better and better.

After taking the shot above, I just turned around, and this was behind me.

How's your head for heights? This path just drops away to the gorge floor, a LONG way down.
Not so bad, IF the path looked stable!
Does this look stable to you? No - me neither.

View over the edge - you need a steady hand and foot up here.
See the path we came up on below?

Some sections were quite a breeze though.

I do the French speaking, cooking and wine pouring and Colin, my brother, does the navigation (very well too, I might add).

You don't have to speak French to know this is telling you to be VERY careful up here!

Just a kid at heart, there was a carpet of fallen leaves. Well, we couldn't just leave them LYING there - could we?

That's the first 20 done. I hope you like them.
I am really looking forward to posting the cave ones - oh go on then, ONE sneak preview..........


Phyllis said...

I have the first comment??? YEAAAAA! Lovely blog, Les. Am just now finding it and looking through it. You and I have the same zodiac sign, the Snake, SSSSSSSSeee you later!!! Love, Peaches

. said...

Ssssssssssso we DO have the same sign Peaches! I hope you are keeping well. Please send me an email to my lessingleton@hotmail address, as I have LOADS to tell you! Thanks for the comment XX