On the way home from the Briançon we broke the journey down by calling in on the Champagne region to find out if any deals were to be had. They were! We grabbed a box of six bottles of Canard – Duchêne for much much less than we pay back in the UK. 🙂
We stayed the night for free in one of those amazing French municipal aire camping sites, then our plan was to go on to explore a few of the Great War memorial sites the next day. With the centenary of the end of the Great War getting so close it seemed pertinent that we finally gave some time to explore this area having passed it by so many times…
I think everyone should be made to spend a short while in this area. It is incredibly sobering to get just the merest of feelings of what it was like, how many people died, and what we have today in part thanks to these sacrifices.
It makes me mad that one of the biggest peace projects of all time – the European Union – is being threatened by shallow minded and bitter baby-boomers who will throw this all away, at any cost, to service their misguided (and lied to) impressions.
I had thought that the meal organised by a local bar for the people in the B&B would be the culinary highlight of the trip. I hadn’t counted on the fantastic festival in the nearby town of Girasole.
The dinner in Lotzerai was very nice – a starter of prosciutto and salsiccia, then culurgionis, pasta stuffed with potato and mint in a tomato sauce (a Sardinian speciality), and then roasted pork – but the festival was something else!
Girasole had clearly gone to town – there were stalls selling jewelry, sweets, toys, kitchen things…, And about 20 different food places, many of which were set up in people’s gardens. I went on the Saturday and the Sunday, and had two completely different meals. I (over two nights) had melted fontina cheese on flatbreads, deep fried pastry puffs, grilled tuna, Sea Urchin, pasta with mutton, the potato and mint things again, spicy octopus, and roast mutton. It was fabulous. At the same time, there was music, traditional dancing, and most bizarre of all, a group dressed in goat skins, with antlers on their heads, soot-covered faces and bones hanging on their backs that banged as they walked, that marched through the village and danced around a fire. Amazing!
Since I know my parents will be interested, I’ve also put a few flower pictures in. April is a brilliant time to visit Sardinia as everything is in flower. The hills are full of rock roses and ??? with ??? under the trees. I still can’t believe how quiet it is.
I’m in Sardinia for a few days holiday, staying at the wonderful Lemon House in Lotzerai and spending my days trail running, hiking and whatever comes along. Lotzerai is at the south of the Supramonte, home of the Selvagio Blu trail, and while I decided not to do all of that, I’m doing some of the bits that don’t involve abseils or climbing where I’d really need to have a partner. For my first full day I decided on a nice looking loop in the Supramonte from the Golgo plateau down to the famous beach of Cala Goloritze and its rock pinnacle.
The start (after paying €6 entry) was on a rocky path that climbed over a low col with the first glimpse of the sea then steeply descending under oak trees into a canyon that led down to the beach. The sides were spectacular vertical limestone cliffs, and it was a glorious run, dropping 600m or so to the end, where a staircase had been built to give access to the beach.
There was a pretty big swell, with waves crashing on the rocks and very little beach to be seen – definitely not swimming conditions – but the view was fantastic and it was a lovely spot to sit, watch the waves and have lunch.
Afterwards I headed back up the canyon and then up a side canyon to eventually climb steeply up to a magnificent viewpoint at Punta Salinas that looked out over the pinnacle, the beach and the Gulf of Orosei. As with most of the smaller trails around here, route finding was pretty challenging, so a certain amount of scrambling and pushing through the vegetation was needed to get there from the main path, and yet I followed a perfectly obvious path back.
From Punta Salinas I headed inland, past a traditional shepherd’s hut, over a saddle, and then down a very steep and rocky descent to some interesting Bronze Age ruins and back to my car. This really was a great walk – it felt like there was something to see around every corner.
Laetitia is working in Prague this week, another tour as a tutor on the Lead with Impact course. And so another great opportunity for me to take advantage and get to see parts of Europe I really don’t think I’d visit in normal circumstances… More “Prague”
One of my extra curricular activities at work is to be a tutor on the Lead with Impact course across Europe. A great advantage of this is that I can get to see parts of Europe that I have never been to before.
Whitehorse is the last bit of normal civilisation we passed through on the way out the Cirque of the Unclimbables, and it feels like it, with the qualities one associates with an old style frontier town. More “Whitehorse and Yukon Rock”