Earlyish start from Marseille to ride through vineyards of the Coteaux Varois-en-Provence, through to Aups, then high above the Lac de Sainte Croix and on to the South Rim Road of the Grand Canyon of the Verdon.
The South Rim Road is the more sportsbiker of the rim roads and it’s possible to get past the traffic reasonably. As well as the Red Mist opportunities on the access roads, there are the tunnels, the classic views down to the rivers far below, the bridge that sometimes gets used for bungee jumping. And plenty of hard straight runs down towards a rock face and a hairpin turn or a catastrophic overshoot into oblivion. Maybe it would be good to still fear those. I’m reminded this instinct is also triggered by the famous Aragón Wall at the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón, visited by MotoGP last weekend.
Riding around the Alpilles, the little limestone ridge hills that border the Camargue, the delta of the River Rhône. Pines, olives and the midday heat of Provence. Landscapes here have inspired Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and others.
Just as you have to get your eye in to ride a sportsbike to its potential, you have to get your eye in to see the all the colours in the rocks and vegetations here, as those artists did. My photos are usually intended to be clean and sharp but that style underplays these particular landscapes so I have used some distortions and filters to highlight how I see and feel about these scenes I’ve seen today; these are my views, I’m not intending to mimic anyone else’s style
And great to be riding somewhere that Barcelona is signposted! Why not ride on?
Sunset at a restaurant at the waterside of the Lac d’Annecy with my friend Arno, the destination of my journey from Provence to Savoie. I would have liked to see more glaciers but tragically, it’s getting more and more difficult. Now there are so many more screes of grey gravel, the debris remaining where there was shining glacier until so recently.
An exceptional hike from Corps to the limestone ridge between the Pointe de Rogne (1651 m.), the Col d’Aspres (1758 m.) and the Roche Courbe (1938 m.). Wonderfully diverse flowers and wildlife along the ridge path and in the alpages leading to it. The Sentier des Crêtes overlooks the valley of the River Drac up towards the Col de Manse (1251 m.), then the Alps of Haut Provence, and over towards the Dévoluy Massif and the Valgaudemar. The Route Napoléon weaves its way alongside the river. In the other direction, the Lac du Sautet and its dam, then the Vercors plateau in clouds.
Not the easiest climb: steep and once the path became indistinct in the alpages, a matter of “always up”. But a rewarding walk both in terms of the visual opportunities and not having had as long a hike for several years. I hope you enjoy my journey through my photos.
A photo roughly every fifty paces of this morning’s walk to the supermarket. This photo story is a visual record of my walk from the edge of Keswick, through Fitz Park passing the cycle track, across the River Greta and in to the heart of Keswick. From the idyllic calm of Brundholme Road, and over the brow of Stanger Street; suddenly there are people and the frantic bustle of the busy tourist town as it gets going for this fine day in August. I usually allow a quarter of an hour each way for the walking part of the shopping trip.
This is a fairly standard exercise on photography courses. Students mostly need to work find a worthwhile set of images and that’s the point of the exercise: images are there to be made, anywhere. But here in lovely Keswick in the Lake District National Park (where every view is potentially a picture postcard) there are so many visual delights that this exercise becomes one of deciding which images to exclude and which to feature and why, according to the story you wish to tell. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to keep on looking round as the most interesting story may be happening behind you.
The wet days are back with us in Keswick and the cloud forest growth season continues. Snipping is not enough. Previous efforts at untangling this garden resulted in a two car loads of fifteen bags of cuttings plus two fabric bins, all to be taken to the council tip; that’s as well as filling the green bin the Allerdale council lorry collects once a fortnight.
It seemed a good idea to hire a skip to make more progress. Friends suggested a garden shredder and indeed a big electric shredder plus the safety equipment (PPE) worked out as much the same cost as one skip hire. The ear defenders plus the visor put one in a happy place, very focussed.
Not the Tuscan Hills, nor a camping on the banks of the Rubicone river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 BC, but here in sunny Keswick at the foot of Skiddaw (931 m.) we find a chilled bottle or two of Sangiovese Rosato Rubicone goes very well with a salad of walnut and orange with Wookey Hole Cheddar plus French Comté cheeses.
Very light and slightly fruity, well-balanced and not overtly acidic, these bottles of 2020 Sangiovese Rosato “Via Vincini” bought from a local supermarket taste great for a garden lunch in the fresh air of the Lake District dreaming of foreign travel, perhaps appropriately as you could call this a bottle of 2020, the Covid Vintage.