Tuesday 31 May 2016

France, May/June 2016. Day 12 Orchids in the Rain and The Millau Viaduct.

Although gloomy, it was dry overnight but turned to rain early on today and continued all day.  So four wet days out of twelve; not bad for the Pickwells.  However, being made of stern stuff the most was made of the day by orchid hunting in the rain (three new ones found!) and then, at great expense driving over the Millau Bridge at 7€ 80 and we used to think the Humber Bridge was expensive.  Still there is an excellent viewing area and it is a fabulous construction.  The piers are higher than the Eiffel Tower.  Gustav would have been impressed and we should know, we have visited three of his bridges on this trip; try outs for his less horizontal tower.  We called in to a wonderful nowhere France small town at lunchtime and went into the local bar/restaurant for coffee.  Typical of a French village at lunchtime it was dead and deserted but the bar/restaurant was warm, cosy and a hubbub of locals enjoying a convivial lunch.  Our evening meal tonight was one of our favourites: dinner a la tin!!!  With, of course, the required pre-prandial gold and fizzy, wine and a local digestif!!!  Rain forecast for tomorrow!! J
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Bee Orchid

Man Orchid

Yellow Bee Orchid
Spider Orchid
Lesser Butterfly Orchid
Yellow Bee Orchid

Monday 30 May 2016

France May/June 2016. Day 11 A Day With Vultures.

Despite A gloomy start the weather forecast was for a bright afternoon so we packed up and set off up the Tarn gorge to les Vignes once more and up the beetling hairpins onto the plateau.  The plan was to do a walk around the edges of the Causse de Mejon along the edges of and along ledges half up of the huge vertical cliffs that line the gorges.  Half way up though we stopped for Peter and me to scramble up to and explore the ruins of a centuries old castle.  Once parked, we walked in an anti clockwise direction walking above the Tarn Gorge first and then above the Jonte gorge where we expected to find most vultures.  In that we were lucky as there were dozens cruising like squadrons of aircraft above and below us and at eye level, so close at times that we felt we could touch them.  Absolutely amazing!  The weather behaved itself as well so a great day.  When we returned to the site Peter and Lin’s friends Sue and Phil had arrived and we all enjoyed a meal in the campsite bar.
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