samedi 28 juillet 2012

Mont Valier (7)

We were all very organised. Even Ruby got up without a thousand wake ups! However I didn't bring my cap....Lee stopped in the town and I found one with Bambi on! Jasper and I regularly likened our trip to Frodo and Gollum up Mount Doom.....I've never climbed so high and so arduously! Ruby and I wore a garment I fashioned from my shawl soaked in waterfall and knotted over our hair....twas soothing. We ate regularly, and much of the oat bar, consequently there was no holding me back!!I was eaten much more readily than everyone else by the mozzis and have the welts to prove it.....Ruby was most irritated but seems to have emerged unscathed.

The doge was a huge ball of good nature and dready fur such a doge!

I feel that the meal we ate at the refuge might have been my most Epicurus meal to date! It was a concoction crafted by mountain pixies, most likely. Cep and lentils....smelly, oh so smelly cheese and then the pot of chocolate gou!!!! I dreamt of terrible things and Jasper shouted out in the night telling Ruby as per usual to stop it!

The summit climb was so euphoric for Jasper and I, Rubes was a little tired but showed courage and fortitude to the love was her coach.

The descent was goddam crucifying for me and the Ru (6300ft of it in all)....we had 'laking eggs'! At one point we felt abandoned and unsure we had gone the right way....I called like the peacock but to no avail. At last the journey was coming to a close, the last bridge and then more....Lee was by that time sufferin and actually now it seems trammelled with a bug from the river, or mebe too much sun? I kept looking at him all the way back as he was sighing the way you do before you do a gigantic vomit....but he held on and we collapsed into our beds very grateful!

Susie raring to go!

More than halfway to the hut and very, very, hot!

the uphill toil... never ends!

At the refuge at last and time for a cool coke!
(apparently we can't buy any other beverage because of the Olympics)

Still more than 2000ft to go to the summit from the hut


Jasper and Ruby below the refuge

Ruby's beautiful photo

Doge! (Patou)

Misty mountains

On the summit

The happy mountaineers

Jasper finds God!

Coolin' the footsies

Ruby finds inner peace

Jasper in the Amazon

dimanche 22 juillet 2012

Eight tors

At last a spell of decent weather just before we leave for France. Yesterday we spent the day at Slapton Sands - Susie and Ruby sunbathing whilst I fished we all got rather burnt.

Today we did a great walk on the moor visiting eight tors and Burrator Reservoir. In order of ascent we visited Leather Tor, Sharpi Tor, Leeden Tor, Black Tor, Hart Tor, Cramber Tor, Down Tor and Sheeps Tor. A grand day out in perfect weather and a chance for Jasper to break in his new boots before we go up Mont Valier next week.

mercredi 18 juillet 2012


Yum! Super fresh fish - 25 mins from sea to stomach.

dimanche 15 juillet 2012


A break in the weather, so susie and I headed out for a quick walk on dartmoor visiting the Dewerstone. I haven't been there since I climbed it about 10 years ago. After following the valley we finished over the moor watching the stonechats on the gorse bushes.
Susie by Shaugh bridge

jeudi 12 juillet 2012

New car

Will it never stop raining in England? The weather is unbelievably awful most the time!!

Our lovely Saab 95 has found a new home and we have a more modern car to replace her - it's a '02 Ruby (Honda) Jazz. This should be much easier for Susie to drive - she is determined to finally learn to drive this year.

Last night Dommy and I went out for a walk across the moor and actually managed to get slightly lost which was amusing (we hadn't taken a map). We got back to the car after sunset, but fortunately before it got too dark to see.

lundi 9 juillet 2012

Sea Otter

Susie strokes a friendly Sea Otter at Mattiscombe Beach!

Meanwhile I've got water on the elbow again, although I managed to catch it a bit sooner this time.

jeudi 5 juillet 2012


Lots of plastering, lots of sanding and lots of dust!

mercredi 4 juillet 2012


Another lovely warm day. This morning the EDF arrived to install an economy 7 meter (heures creuse) and increase the power supply from 3 to 6 KW. Meanwhile I pressed on with building and assembling some oak undercarriage for the kitchen table to replace the temporary wobbly ones which have been there far too long.
There's now leg room to sit at the ends of the table and it all much more sturdy.

The scars from the old kitchen have also been healed with new paint on the walls, varnish on the floor and some oak cladding on the wall.
Guess what's for dinner?

mardi 3 juillet 2012

Col de Craberous

A day in the mountains. A bit of a late start from the Col de la Core (I left the car at 9.20) but made rapid progress reaching the cabane subera in 1 hour 10 mins. From here I followed the chemin de la liberte (the route taken by locals who guided 782 allied servicemen and women across the border to Spain during WWII). I was undecided whether to climb Pic de Caries (2506m) or to cross the Col de Craberous (2382m) but decided on the later.
Pic de Caries (left) and Pic de Pomebrunet (middle)

On the way I passed the wreckage of a RAF Halifax bomber which crashed here in 1945 killing all on board (it was on a routine training mission but navigation errors and poor visibility led to the catastrophic crash - they thought they were descending to land in Bordeaux).
A winter route I've been eyeing up for some time

The push to the col was steep and I felt unfit but 3 hours 30 mins after leaving the car I was there and it was time for some lunch. The weather was hot and amazingly clear.
The last few metres to the col
Retrospective from the col
Wild flowers on the col

From here I opted to descend on the Milouga side, steeply at first but on a good path before leaving it to traverse under Tuc de la Messe to reach the Col de Crouzette (2237m). An easy descent past the Cabane d'Eychelle and back to Col de la Core. In all 5 hours 45 mins. Tough enough!
Sheep under Tuc de la Messe
Algae in one pool but not the other
Cabane d'Eychelle

lundi 2 juillet 2012

Stairs in!

Bloody heavy but the top flight of stairs are in. Haven't time to make second flight this visit so am pressing on with other jobs. Tomorrow though a day off!

dimanche 1 juillet 2012

Sound waves

Huge storm last night which raged throughout the night and into the mid-morning. For much of the night it was directly overhead and some of the thunderbolts were so loud I could feel the sound wave hitting the house then compressing my chest and pushing me into the bed!

After 5 hours of wedge making and fine tuning, I glued up the stair. As always it was a frustrating and almost disastrous assembly procedure, but somehow I managed to pull it all together at the last minute.
the top side

Then it was over to Justin and Emily's for Thea and Myla's third birthday. Good to spend some time with the girls and catch up with Justin and Emily.
Jaya was nursing her pups, under the table.