Into every life a little rain must fall, and even in the south of France it can be cold and wet in April. A couple of rainy days gave time for rest and reading, and a short damp walk before the warmth and sun returned.
After a long, dark, cold winter it was time to search out spring sunshine. The Alpes-Maritimes are a lovely place to walk in April, although Easter was so early this year and the winter so harsh that Spring had hardly begun and the land was still clothed in its winter colours. We were based close to St-Jeannet, one of the many tiny hilltop villages that dot the flanks of the river Var in the densely populated region north of Nice.
Windermere. A lake in Cumbria. Thought to have originated from the Norse personal name Winand, or Vinandr, and the Old English ‘mere’, meaning lake. It’s also the name of a town on the slopes above the lake. Continue reading “A Walk around Windermere”
It’s been quite the winter for snow. My New Year came in on the wings of a Lakeland snow storm, and in the usually benign landscape of Hampshire, meteorological Spring was heralded with the deep drifts and wild winds of the ‘Beast from the East’.
Like most people I find the start of a new year is a time for looking back and reflecting on what has been achieved in the previous year. My greatest achievement last year was, somewhat unexpected: a whole twelve months of consistent running after ten years or more of repeated injury.
‘What is your favourite mountain?’
This seemingly simple question was put to Sir Chris Bonington by an eight year old boy after the premiere of the film: Bonington-Mountaineer. Sir Chris found it difficult to define what could constitute a ‘favourite’ mountain. He was drawing on his memory and imagination to make a judgement, and imagination was to become, for me, the theme of this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival.
The slopes of Mont Ventoux are etched with deeply incised Combes: narrow dry valleys that ripple outwards from the white limestone summit. The Combe de Malaval is one of the most impressive. Continue reading “Combes and chasms of Ventoux: Vaucluse Walk Two”
The jagged limestone ridges of Les Dentelles de Montmirail rise from the vineyards like serried ranks of sharp teeth. It is a region well worth exploring. Continue reading “Peaks of Teeth and Lace: Vaucluse Walk One”
Autumn sunshine is always welcome, particularly after this year’s mostly wet and grey summer. Unseasonably warm October weather in the Vaucluse region of Provence was an unexpected treat, giving perfect walking conditions. Continue reading “Vaucluse sunshine, wine and olives”