samedi 27 juillet 2019

Rain at last!!

A day of rain at last - enough to refill the water butts with 2 cubic meters of water but nowhere near enough to restore the vegetation in the fields which are parched and yellow. We are having to take the sheep on long walks along the roads and into the woods so that they can find food to eat.

lundi 22 juillet 2019

New Chicken Shack

Our old chicken house was a bit too small for our over size rooster Mr Quincy and over the years had weathered and time for a new one. Built from the "up-cycled" old outside-loo materials and mounted on wheels it provides a much larger and easier to clean home.

lundi 15 juillet 2019

Pickled Shallots

It's turning out to be a very hot and dry summer. Both of our 1 cubic metre "cuves" of collected rainwater are already empty and there is no rain forecast for at least two weeks, just 30+ degrees of heat. The garden is giving in abundance whilst the water holds out and we are busy preserving for the winter to come. Pickled shallots for me and kimchee for Susie.

vendredi 12 juillet 2019

Col de Crusous to Col de la Serre du Cot (Mines de Salau to Rouze d'en Bas)

13.5km, 1420m of ascent, 1720m of descent, about 20 summits and very hot...but a magnificent day.

Alas Susie had a sore knee and elected not to come, but Al, Breezy and I had a great day. We left a vehicle at Rouze d'en Bas, then drove to the mines at Salau to start the walk. Apparently the permit for the exploratory works to appraise reopening the mine has been revoked because the mining company can't meet the EU anti money laundering regulations...they are of course appealing so it may only be a temporary reprieve. We climbed steeply up to the Col de Crusous in 1hr 50min where we stopped for a break and refreshment. The route from here is straightforward - turn left (north) and follow the ridge for about 7km. A rocky scramble at first, the ridge slowly becomes more and more gentle as you head northwards until finally on reaching Pic de la Tèse it becomes broad and grassy. The first peak Pic de l'Arrech is the highest at 2350m

The ascent of Pic de l'Arrech

 Looking back over the Col de Crusous towards Cap de Ruhos

 Summit of Pic de l'Arrech

 One of the many summits on the ridge

After about 11.30 we were in and out of clouds (until our descent from Pic de la Tèse after lunch) adding to the drama of the position. Some vultures and a very distant isard shared our day, as well as some horses and cows.

 Looking back towards Pic Montabone

 My reflection in a droplet of dew

Merens horses

A long descent on GR10 which became a bit of slog in the heat finally led us to the car and a quick drive back to Salau for a well earned beer.

mercredi 3 juillet 2019

Map and another news

My 1/5000 map of the commune of Aleu and the surrounding area is nearly finished. It extends from beyond the commune to the Col de Boulogne and Col Bidal, Cominac, Anilac, Courmariau, Tuc del Four and the bridge to Soulan, so includes the Serre de Rapheu and valley Régude. On addition to landuse, buildings, roads, tracks and buildings, all the old chemin communal are indicated and there are contours at 10m intervals. Overal the map measures approx 1m x 1m and will be available in August, folded in a plastic wallet for around 15 euros.

Other news, the crazy heatwave last week is thankfully over - temperatures exceeded 40 degrees i the shade - at least some hay was made without mishap (the bailer worked perfectly this year). 

Susie was away at the B12 dance festival in Berlin last week, an opportunity for her to train and keep her technique up to the minute.

The rug is finished and incredibly soft...another project needed!