It’s been a much colder and windier week here, and there was much consternation at the very low temperatures on Wednesday night, which have wreaked damage among some of the more exposed vineyards around us. We were very grateful that all our own more vulnerable plants – two fig trees, two citrus trees and couple of vines – seem to have survived. One curious effect of this was that the attempts by the vineyard owners to mitigate the frost by burning fires, apparently created hazardous levels of smoke and fume along the local motorway. It certainly looked like it from our garden.
In other news, Chris, whose blood pressure leaps up every time a doctor tries to take it, has got an appointment for his first Covid vaccination this coming week (and the second in mid-May). Alison, we’re assured, will be eligible in about ten days.
The gentle lock-down we are under did unfortunately preclude us attending the Easter Church service at Cannes in the flesh, nevertheless, courtesy of live-streaming we were able to be there digitally.
Now back to walks and pictures. As frequently commented in this blog, there’s some truly fantastic walking up around Lac Sainte Croix and the Gorges du Verdon. In fact we keep finding new walks.
The walk we went on at the start of March was on one of the lower stretches of the river Verdon. The entire river is now dammed and controlled but there is some impressive scenery along the way. In the 19th century a plan was made to bring water from the Verdon to Aix-en-Provence, a distance of about 80 km. The canal was constructed with great labour and was in use until 1969. Today it’s empty, but the old maintenance path alongside has been turned into a hiking route.
Looking back to the start of the gorge; downstream it’s hard to see where a walk could go
It’s forbidden to walk along the course of the old canal itself, which is sometimes cut through the rock. Bats now inhabit these tunnels, and near the end of the walk an old warden’s cabin has been turned into small exhibition on the wildlife and history of the canal. At this point, the track does go into the old canal bed – going through one of the tunnels it emerges into a wooded valley with amazing moss and lichen.
The path now climbs up to a ridge, where, in a typically inaccessible place, there is a small chapel. A good place for lunch! For some reason there was a flock of rather fine goats there who seemed to be doing very well off uneaten sandwiches.
A good and varied walk, but as with so many of these walks we ended up saying “it would be challenging in high summer”: you’d certainly have to bring a lot of water with you.