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

Monday, 5 September 2011

Back to Serre-Poncon

Finally the weather has cleared, I've done the washing and feel ready to tackle a few more days of walking around the Serre-Poncon lake. Truthfully I was a bit lazy last week, once we were back from our camping trip. We did have one huge storm one night and then quite a few hours of heavy rain on more than one day so it felt unsettled.

The sky was blue this morning so we set off to have a picnic lunch just alongside the track which continues after the Boscodon Abbey on its way to Savines-le-lac. There, the lake is spanned by a long road bridge. The route today was not labelled as the Tour du lac but would take me lower through some forest and nearer the lake.

Once there was a village called Savines which was in the bottom of the valley beside the River Durance. The flooding of the valley to make the reservoir meant that Savines had to be moved. A new town was built and named Savines-le-lac. All the inhabitants were moved there and the old village almost completely raised to the ground. Most of the year this site is under water but in the depths of winter when the water level drops below the bridge, it's still possible to see the remains of stone walls. It must be quite emotional for any of the original villagers to see them there.

{Signpost at the junction with the main track}

After lunch we both set off up the forest road which was still a bit muddy in places. The trees and plants had that pleasing 'after the rain' smell as they all dried out in the warm sunshine. John went back to the van at the junction to go and look for a strimmer part in Gap. I had my first really good view of the lake, the town of Embrun and the surrounding mountains.

{Looking back to Embrun}

The actual walking was easy but I did come across a few interesting sites. Two people and three donkeys came towards me. I couldn't take a photo until they were passed me as the child riding the little donkey squealed 'oh no, I don't like cameras!' at me. So they slowly went by.

{Three donkeys}

 Shortly after that I came across a much smaller and quicker creature. I hoped it was only a grass snake!

{Small snake lifting its head to look at me}

I left the GR signed route to circle around the village ahead so I didn't have to walk for too long on the road. The track was still good and afforded great views of the mountain Pic de Morgon which looms over this part of the lake. There was also a short period of searching for a footpath which appears on both my paper map and the Viewranger map on my phone. Eventually, I crashed through some bushes, ducked under some low branches and found a way.

{Pic de Morgon}

A steep and badly eroded track took me down to Savines-le-lac. On the way through the trees I had a short staring match with a female deer,who had big ears and a spotted back.  Not daring to move and lose the moment, I didn't manage a photo. When I reached the town I treated myself to a big cup of coffee and waited for John, who joined me within ten minutes. Better timing today!

{The road bridge and Savines-le-lac}

Viewranger had one of its weird moments under the cover of some thick trees but tells me I walked just over 10 kms, an average speed of 3.5 km/h (which includes photos and faffing), height gained was 757 m and lost 929 m, however I think the maximum speed of 52 kph is not to be believed!

{Headlines from 1961 when Savines was destroyed.}


Greg said...

great stuff. We must come back to that region. We came a few years ago to Briancon. The campsite was dissapointing and the weather unsettled . IWe had a great day to the Glacier Blanc hut and another finding lots of edelweiss in the mountains.

Laura said...

Hi Greg - thanks for your comment - you're right this is a great area - loads to do and places to explore - usually with great weather. We've been coming here for ten years and only scratched the surface.

Louise said...

Not jealous. No, not at all. I'll try to hang on to the lousy weather for you, in case you've forgotten what it's like!

Laura said...

Thanks Louise! Mmm, I seem to remember lousy weather last time we walked together................

Alan Sloman said...

I enjoyed that. Thanks.
Does Louise ever have good weather on her walks?

Louise said...