Despite all my grand plans, this summer I seem to have filled my time rediscovering the pleasures of (mostly) already-ridden roads round here, and it brought it home to me how little walking I’ve done when one of my guests last week was describing paths I not yet been on despite having now spent seventeen weeks down here since summer 2012. Normally in the choice between two feet and two wheels, the wheels win.
So yesterday was a good day to take one day off pedalling, and discover a bit of the Vercors plateau on foot, with friends Clare and Alan. With food in rucksacks, and a fine day forecast, we drove up to the ski station at Col de Rousset, took the lazy way to the top using the ski lift, and walked a gentle loop round to the east to take in fine views of the Vercors eastern ridge, the Glandasse, and, of interest to cyclists, views south to Mont Ventoux (the weather station being clearly visible).
As well as the fine views (the highpoint of the walk being Belvédère at 1639m), there were a few pretty wild flowers, up to twenty griffon vultures gliding over our heads, and a sheepdog who joined us for our lunchtime stop. He seemed unconcerned by the vultures’ proximity to and interest in the sheep under his guard (the sheepdogs round here stay amongst the sheep and are supposed to look after them rather than round them up), and after realising that he wasn’t going to be given any of our food promptly lay down and went to sleep at our feet. So much for the severe warning signs telling us to stay away from these fearsome hounds.