Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday - a day of rest, Unless you went on a hike

It's been quiet here all day. After a breakfast of French toast made from a boule (round loaf) of bread purchased yesterday, Katie, Dave and Christie hit the road for a hike in the Haute Languedoc regional park. Before leaving, we manage a phone call to a place Dave's found that rents bikes on the Canal du Midi.

My day unfolded differently and in great calm. Having lived here a week, a bit of tidying up was needed. A load of laundry (now that there are 4 of us, there's also more laundry). I made the beef stock needed for the onion soup, did some work on the computer (finishing up an online course I was teaching last month), figured out how to find tomorrow's adventure location in the town of le Somail, wrote a couple of postcards, and worked on blogging yesterday's adventures.

All the while, the sun is shining brightly, the breeze is airing the house wonderfully as it passes from front to back, the birds are singing, and I'm enjoying just being in France. There are church bells from time to time announcing services, but it is otherwise calm and quiet.

Gotta go now as it's 6 PM and time to start the pork roast and onion soup we'll have for dinner. I'm sure there will be more later when Dave and the girls get back.

The day from Katie's perspective:
"This morning we slept in and then mom made french toast for breakfast(mmmmm). Then dad, Christie, and I headed off towards the Gorge de l'Héric for a hike."

"The hike starts in the town of Mons-la-Trivalle and follows the Heric gorge up to the small hamlet of Heric (about 3 miles one way). It's a beautiful walk that's a gentle paved up-slope along the turquoise waters and high cliff faces of the gorge. The town of Heric (550 m, 1650 ft elevation) has about 8 buildings with only 4 actually inhabited, but it's situated in a picteresque location - packed in to the steep walls of the gorge and along a small stream, where we had lunch. We then decided we hadn't had enough (always a fatal mistake) so we headed up the path to the town of Douch."

"The trail to Douch is the counterpoint to the first trail - rocky, uneven, and straight up. Calling it a goat path is too good for this trail! We trek our way up the 3 km (1.8 miles and 450 m elevation change; 1350 ft) to Douch. Finally cresting the top and seeing a beautiful view of Douch, even though the wind has picked up and we are now standing mostly inside a cloud. At this point, we are planning to hike along the plateau and then hike back down to our starting location."

"Vacation Rule #1: The BEST laid plans NEVER work out! We walked along the ridge, but then missed our turn and ended up at the Table d'Orientation of Mt. Caroux (elevation 1045 m, 3135 ft). It's so windy, Christie and I don't even want to look, and the clouds are racing by obscuring what should be a world class view. The turn we were meant to take was unmarked (and unknown??). We decide to head back the way we came (oh no!)."

"After hiking as fast as we can go, we make it back 7 miles in 2.5 hours tired and crabby, but only 40 min late for dinner with mom. We had roast with potatoes and carrots and green beans as our side. It was delicous, and after many glasses of wine, we are tired but happy (total hike ~14 miles, 6.5 hrs)."

A bientôt

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