Saturday, 5 February 2011

Away exploring

Well, the weather was quite frankly appalling last week, grey, cold, damp & depressing. I had to resort to a session on the turbo trainer on Monday. It was the first time I had used the thing. I chose a Sufferfest intervals video which was maybe not the best thing to do when I hadn't even got the bike correctly set-up for my riding position! But, still, it was a useful exercise (although my knee wasn't too happy afterwards) and I can see the training potential for when the weather prevents outdoor riding.

Tuesday, I had my running legs back on and we did a 9km there and back run along the voie verte which felt really good. I need to start proper training on the voie verte, with some speed interval sessions some time soon. Oh jeez, did I really say that?!

But anyway, we have been watching the forecast closely, waiting for some good sunny weather to settle on the Pyrenees, in anticipation of some time away biking and running further west along the chain. On Wednesday/Thursday, our prayers were answered as a big high pressure area esconced itself quite contentedly over most of France & Spain. With sun & blue skies forecast into the coming week, we packed our bags and headed west to the Vallée de la Barousse, just down the road from Luchon. Yesterday, we had an exploratory ride on the roadies in lovely sunshine. This really is a stunning area of wide valleys and easily accessible high mountains beyond Then today, we headed out for a walk from the perched village of Créchets. It was warm, really warm in the sun and we were soon wishing we had worn shorts & T shirts as we sweated our way up the hill! But again the views were just stunning with valleys and villages and mountains beyondAnd then we spotted them, circling, landing, taking off again - a dozen vultures and kites and a fair few crows too. What were they so interested in? We had to find out, so we yomped up the hill. We got close but the vultures took off. I managed to grab a hurried video with my digital camera as they skimmed the trees above us. They were griffon vultures with a wingspan of 2.3-2.9m! Impressive! But we were unable to locate what had attracted their attention. Which is probably a good thing. We then pressed on with the walk which turned out to be a lovely little circuit of 8kms. More please!

One other bit of good news, I received another nibble of interest on the house today, coming for a viewing next weekend. Keep fingers crossed for us?

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