Friday, 3 February 2012

More explorations

I am so pleased we decided to stay down in Spain for an additional week, as the weather was much more amenable than the arctic conditions that have been sweeping down through France since last weekend. The strong, cold wind that buffeted us at the start of the week thankfully receded enough to provide ideal conditions for a longer run (although not necessarily for taking photos!) on Tuesday. So the pooch and I headed out to explore an area further inland. The 20km circuit initially took us on tracks through olive groves before heading up a narrow path to a limestone headwall known as Raco el Flare.
At the start of the path, we encountered 2 blokes, one of which was clearly a hunter as he had a dead roe deer at his feet. The dog thought his luck was in! I managed to drag him away, but the drops of blood that dotted our path ahead just served to tantalize him more .... poor pooch!

After the Raco el Flare, I had some great running on good tracks through some wild-feeling countryside
The run took me around 2h20m and everything was working well which was good news. I don't have accurate stats as I stopped my GPS at one point and forgot to restart it again - silly mare!

On Thursday, we explored the wetlands natural park near Torreblanca in the hope of spotting some larger birds. Unfortunately there wasn't much of great interest about, although Andy did manage to spot and photograph a few birds that were new to him during our 7km walk. I, in the meantime, just took some general photos before the big bank of cloud swept in

The arrival of high winds, accompanied by a significant drop in temperature, were deciding factors in our decision to return home a day early, but not before Bonita had presented us with a 5 litre container of their own virgin olive oil, produced from their own olives and pressed in their own mill! I am going to miss Bonita! Anyway, today, Friday, we left at 9 a.m and had an uneventful 5 hr trip back to Tarascon, not encountering any of the atrocious road conditions that we had been expecting. Indeed, there was but a dusting of snow on the southern side of the chain, even as far as the entrance to the Tunnel de Puymorens, with more snow but fair to good conditions from the exit through to Ax. We were only obliged to put the chains on the Astra for the drive up the Col de Port and for the final leg home. For that, we can mainly thank the snow plough which had done a truely superb job of polishing the snowy surface to a fine, firm, icey finish! Grit? Nah, don't be daft! But we made it home in good time where the temperature was -7 deg C. The house is naturally taking time to warm through, but with the woodburner going full pelt and the petrol heater also working flat out upstairs, it won't be long before cosiness is restored.

No comments: