mountain road twisting and turning, making it almost impossible to go faster than 50km/hr. Turns so sharp you’re forced to go over the lines or slow to a crawl. But of course, if you’re going to meet a vehicle on this road, it will be at one of the most hair-raising turns. Trying to drive these roads is bad enough. Trying to remember how to drive after not doing it for 3 ½ months adds to the difficulty. Having to reverse shifting a standard to a Right-Hand drive complicates the issue. And of course, it’s a Right-Hand drive vehicle driving on the right hand side of the road, so all perception’s off. No problem!
Thankfully it's exceptionally beautiful up at the Col as it stares Eastward into the next range as well as Westward. Clouds rose up from last night’s rain which blinded the eyes as the sun illuminates them from above.
Of course, the very first thing to do here is climb higher! Summiting the nearest peak, I could see through the East ranges, back towards the West, and a bit of the South as well. All around was the music of cowbells ringing above, below, and beyond. The higher mountains are considered communal land and each commune in the area had different areas in which they can graze their animals. I think it’s wonderful to have open-use land like this.
Ridge walking was a surreal experience as the landscape around continually changed with
the valley mist filling the air and causing whole hillsides to disappear and re-appear just as quickly. But all too soon it was time to plunge down. Catching a glimpse of the farm with my telephoto lens Brian had some bearings to go by. Into deciduous forest that was misty and light, then further down the valley into darker trees. Ground thick with fallen leaves and branches made traversing difficult. With the steep slope and last night’s rain, it was a little like skree hopping…
Once in the woods it was impossible to see what direction the farm was in. Brain thought that one of the valleys he could see was the view from the farm, so he roughly knew what direction to follow. Most importantly, our direction was down, down, down. Into the bottom of the valley where the river ran. I started to get worried. The terrain was very steep and we weren’t quite sure what direction to head. No towns around and I'd forgotten the phone number anyways. What if we were lost? Tried to get the dog to 'allez maison', but he wouldn't go anywhere for us.
Brian was determined that he knew what way to go, so I just kept following him. Once we were at the river, where do we head up? And then I heard it. That damn rooster started crowing and we knew we were heading in the right direction. That same rooster that attacked me was now guiding me. Crap, I guess I can’t beat him up now!
Went up to the Col de Port this morning. At 1250m it’s the big dividing force between this valley and the next. A climb of around 300m from where we are currently staying. The