dimanche 25 décembre 2016

Christmas day

 Last light before santa arrives


Walk before lunch

Christmas lunch outside on the new picnic table

jeudi 22 décembre 2016

Tuc l'Adosse

It's been a while since the last post...the weather has remained clear and sunny during the day and cold at night (-1 to -3). After a quite a few days of administrative chores - controle technique, re-registering the mitsubishi, fitting winter tyres, selling the jimny, etc - work has once again resumed on the gite. 

Ruby arrived on the 12th having finished her first term at the University of the West of England and has been resting and generally being spoiled. 

Snow is greatly deficient at the moment and so walks are having to replace skiing. Today we went up Tuc l'Adosse (1669m) from the Col de la Trappe and Sandrine came along too. Interesting views from this last ridge before the mountains. 

Looking down on Le Trein Ustou

Possibly an immature golden eagle being mobbed by a smaller hawk

Lunch on the summit of Picou (1628m) 

The only difficulty on the route, the short scramble up Pic de Quer Martit in the background

lundi 5 décembre 2016

Pic de la Fonta

With the great weather continuing and Emily here for a few days, we decided to head up into the hills again...this time to Pic de la Fonta. Amazing clear weather, with choughs, vultures and peregrine overhead.

vendredi 2 décembre 2016

Cour Vic

With high pressure sitting over Northern France, the weather here remains bright, calm and clear. With the Polytunnel finally finished Susie and I headed up into the snow above the Col de Pause for a break. The snow starts above the Cabane d'Areou (1700m) and we headed upto the col below Cour Vic at about 2100m where the snow is continuous and hard ice under a couple of centimetres of soft wind worked snow.

On the way up we spotted a fox, he ran up to a little flat spot on a ridge then curled up and turned his back on us. On the way to the col we took to the snow sometimes and other times to South facing slopes which were sometimes bare of snow or thinly covered.

We took lunch on the col with great views to Valier and zig-zag path descending to the Cabane d'Aula.

We thought to continue up to the Port d'Aula but the snow on the ridge leading to Cour Vic was hard ice and we hadn't brought crampons or ice axe so we descended the same way.

mercredi 30 novembre 2016

All done...

...on the outside at any rate!

lundi 28 novembre 2016

More polytunnel progress

Polythene on today...doors tomorrow.

mardi 22 novembre 2016


A trip to Ardichen on Monday to finally see Hilda and Christian's place (it's only taken 7 years!). They have a lovely set up overlooking Castillon en Couserans and it was good catch up. A lovely break too from all the on going works. On the way back we put the Mitsubishi through its control technique, so now we just need to sell the Jimny and then we can put it on french plates.

Despite the rain today the polytunnel is progressing.

samedi 19 novembre 2016


Polytunnel erection underway!!

vendredi 18 novembre 2016

A trip to Guzet

After fixing the car's exhaust and finishing the poly tunnel foundations, we took a day off and headed up to Guzet to play in the snow.

samedi 12 novembre 2016

After the rain

Lots of rain for the last 4 days which has hampered progress, but still managed to concrete some steps, remove the exhaust from the Mitsubishi which sheared off last week and needs to be replaced and do some electrics in the gite.

Today has been clear and so after a trip to St Girons to collect materials and go to the market, we went for a stroll to the Col de Saraille. Lovely views and autumn colours.

mardi 8 novembre 2016

First snows of the year.

As forecast, snow showers on the mountains over the weekend and snow flurries here last night and today. It was only this afternoon that I finally finished the slating. Work was interrupted by the delivery of the poly tunnel, though I don't think we'll be erecting it for a week or more yet.

jeudi 3 novembre 2016

Good chance of snow here at the weekend and during next week - crazy considering the temperatures here for the last month and even today (been topless for much of it). It's now a race against time to try and get the roof slated on the gite!

dimanche 30 octobre 2016

Pic Rouge de Bassies

Susie's Niece Emily and her boyfriend Edder have been here for 4-5 days, and after helping us with the land and digging new steps to the front door, we all went for a walk Up Pic Rouges de Bassies (2676m). Beautiful clear weather and fantastic views in all directions.

Mont Valier

Pic Rouge de Bassies on the horizon

Meanders and the refuge de Bassies


Montcalm and Pico d'Estats

ice crystals

Lovely colours at the Etang de Lhers

8 hours with a mini digger and I have made a platform for the poly tunnel which arrives next week, widened the entry to the field in the front of the house, dug a drain for water which collects in front of the gite and eased the access between the Chemin de Quélebu and the Chemin de Pinsou. 

 A haze of smoke today originating from the forest fires in Northern Spain