.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The new 'regime'...........

.............is more or less being adhered to by us both. We planned to walk (me more - him less) so that we could both benefit from the days in the fresh air and the healthy exercise. Several months of not doing very much have taken their toll - requiring drastic action!

Saturday will still be 'treats' day. The rest of the week there will be no 'snacking' (probably my worst crime...) and no puddings (no John, not even ice-cream).

So the moment we arrived here we've been putting the plan into action.

John has been walking two out of three days. On his days of rest I've been trying to do a harder route. The usual routine has been to drive to where we want to walk, then have a light picnic lunch, before walking for about 3 hours or so.

Here are some highlights.......

{Photo of Lac Miroir above Ceillac}

This walk involved quite a stiff climb up from the carpark until we reached the lake. It's a well worn path which is rather eroded in places. Coming down we crossed the pistes of Ceillac where we normally ski. It was a beautiful day. Afterwards we spent the evening speaking French and being well entertained by some neighbours. 
Stats for the walk (from Viewranger) were 9 km, total height gained 913 m and it took us 4 hrs 20 mins.

{Photo of Fort Queyras}

This was just a short walk involving a stroll along beside the river then making our way back to the start by climbing through the trees and following a forest track. We arrived back at Ville-Vieille to discover the restaurant we had planned to have a coffee in had closed for the afternoon.
Stats (Viewranger) were 2 hrs walking, total up was 402 m and the length just 6.3 km.

{Photo taken in Val d'Escreins beside the ruined village}

A solo walk last Monday as John was going to collect me later. The signpost for the walk gave 3hrs 15 minutes to the Refuge at Basse Rua. I walked a bit further than that so I could cross the river to get to the carpark for my pick-up.  The village in the photo originally had 90 inhabitants but is now totally deserted. Life would have been hard and the winter's very long for the folk who lived there until the end of the 19th century. There are storyboards to read and information on how the people shared their living space with their animals.

{Photo of the beautifully maintained chapel with its wooden roof}

The route for the walk takes you up a river gorge and is quite rocky at times. It flattens out a bit towards the top as you reach the fields and woods of the Val d'Escreins nature reserve. The valley itself is enclosed by mountains on three sides. Access by car is along a single track road, high on the side of the gorge, which is closed for the winter months.
Stats (from Viewranger again) are 1411 m climbing for just short of 9 kms and it took me 3hrs 20 mins.

{Photo of John reading the info at Ailefroide}

Yesterday we ventured up to Ailefroide to repeat a walk we first did last year. It's quite a gentle stroll along beside a mountain stream between huge rock faces. The area is famed for being where Whymper and other British mountaineers 'discovered' climbing in the Alps. The signs in the photo indicate that we were about to enter the Ecrins National Park. 

After we had wandered along for about 15 minutes we came to a long wooden bridge across to a route which climbs quickly up to a place called the Bosse de Clapouse.  As we hadn't gone that way last time we were tempted to try it out. Soon John turned back to go to the van and read his book in the sun and I continued on up the path. It gained height rapidly by passing under and over rocks then zig-zagging up through the trees. Eventually my legs ran out of steam although I only had about another 100 m to climb and the sun had now dropped behind the mountains alongside me.
Sadly the Viewranger stats are a little wonky for this walk! The gps found it difficult to keep a signal for recording the track. It should have been about 8 kms and it took me almost 4 hours. The ascent might have been about 1269 m. At one stage I apparently reached 85 kms per hour. Wow!

{Photo of the view from the top down to the stream I crossed earlier!}

Not surprisingly today was declared a general rest-day, for us both. Apart from a bit of gentle shopping this morning we've both pottered about indoors today. The weather hasn't been so sunny, and tonight it looks like a storm is brewing.

The good news is that we are both feeling a lot fitter..............

1 comment:

Louise said...

Ah yes, new regimes are good! My New School Term Regime (more walking, less wine, portion control) has left me half a stone lighter and much fitter (only half a stone to go!) The fact my sister and brother-in-law are staying for a week now and she's recovering from a knee op is likely to slow things down (oops), but I can go into recovery next Tuesday. Hurrah for New Regimes! Your's is in very pituresque surroundings, enjoy!