Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Herault - somewhere Different

Our place in the country
Escaping the Gorge de Joncas
After 10 days back in the Ariège I fancied trying somewhere new - Sherri would probably have stopped at Chez Arran and looked after the cats but I was aware that long-time acquaintance Keith Sanders has a pad in a small village to the north-west of Montpelier - about three hours drive away in the Herault region.
I had never been to the area but there appeared to be quite a bit of climbing scattered around, so it had to be worth a look. Keith's pad was very well appointed as well as nice and central, it suited us just fine - apart from my involuntary descent of the stairs on our first night there - the bruising has nearly gone!
Orchids
We visited four different cliffs and did a couple of decent walks too, one up the highest peak in the local area, the Pic de St Baudille and another around the edge of the Lac de Salagou. The climbing was a good and varied and the weather was fine but we did get a bit scorched one day in the Gorge de Joncas where there wasn't a breath of wind and the cliffs were full in the sun. Looks like the area would be worth a visit at a cooler time of the year - we will have to pencil it in.
Just under two weeks more in the Ariège then it is time to think about heading north - the Artic beckons.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Back to the Pyrenees

Looking down towards Barry de'n Bas in the Ariège
Seven weeks in Kalymnos were great and I felt a rare rare sadness when we left - but it was getting busy, hot and bug-ridden so we really had to go. A couple of nights in the Radisson was our 'treat' - internet and TV in bed were real novelties.
Then it was an easy flight to a windy Carcassonne and onwards to Chez Arran. The cats met us on the drive and were starving - good job we had stocked up with cat food and treats 'en route'.
It is great to be back in the mountains, the high peaks still look pretty snowy, we need to head up there to have a look around as soon as possible.
We have both been stuck by the amazing greenness of the place - spring is here and the fresh growth and the bird song are fantastic. We have a month to play with before heading north to the midnight sun - a bit of climbing would be nice.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

Nafplio - climbing in the sun The trip to the Peleponnes was excellent, a lot of great climbing on a varied set of cliffs.We had a rathe...