Reflections and images from my travels

Archive for the ‘Photo Gallery’ Category

Corsican Photography Tour- Day 6

Rock cliffs near Bonifacio while sailing

Rock cliffs near Bonifacio while sailing

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing

Cave we travelled into near Bonifacio while sailing

Cave we travelled into near Bonifacio while sailing

Jet skier in cave we travelled into near Bonifacio while sailing

Jet skier in cave we travelled into near Bonifacio while sailing

Hole in top of cave we travelled into that looks like Corsica

Hole in top of cave we travelled into that looks like Corsica

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing, alternate view

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing, alternate view

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing, yet another view

Lighthouse near Bonifacio while sailing, yet another view

Our tour boat in Bonifacio Harbour

Our tour boat in Bonifacio Harbour

Leaving Corsica on Moby Ferry

Leaving Corsica on Moby Ferry

View of Bastia from the Ferry

View of Bastia from the Ferry

View of Bastia from the Ferry

View of Bastia from the Ferry

Yes, that is Tweety Bird on the Moby Ferry Stack

Yes, that is Tweety Bird on the Moby Ferry Stack

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

View of Genoa, Italy harbour

A real life saver!

A real life saver!

Corsican Photography Tour- Day 5

Yet another church, Porto-Vecchio

Yet another church, Porto-Vecchio

Beautiful stonework, Porto-Vecchio

Beautiful stonework, Porto-Vecchio

Church Central Square, Porto-Vecchio

Church Central Square, Porto-Vecchio

Narrow streets, Porto-Vecchio

Narrow streets, Porto-Vecchio

Relaxed Corsican, Porto-Vecchio

Relaxed Corsican, Porto-Vecchio

Street DJ, Porto-Vecchio

Street DJ, Porto-Vecchio

Street scene, Porto-Vecchio

Street scene, Porto-Vecchio

Stone Fortress walls, Porto-Vecchio

Stone Fortress walls, Porto-Vecchio

As it says! Street scene, Porto-Vecchio

As it says! Street scene, Porto-Vecchio

Close quarters, Porto-Vecchio

Close quarters, Porto-Vecchio

Window and poster scene, Porto-Vecchio

Window and poster scene, Porto-Vecchio

Corsican Photography Tour- Day 4

Stunning views, near Porto while driving

Stunning views, near Porto while driving

Beautiful Rock formations, near Porto

Beautiful Rock formations, near Porto

Yet another beautiful church, Ajaccio

Yet another beautiful church, Ajaccio

 Fortress wall [and, if you look very closely a goat], Ajaccio

Fortress wall [and, if you look very closely a goat], Ajaccio

Pier scene sailing school, Ajaccio

Pier scene sailing school, Ajaccio

Museum, Ajaccio

Museum, Ajaccio

Central Square, Ajaccio

Central Square, Ajaccio

Colourful wall art, vineyard near Ajaccio

Colourful wall art, vineyard near Ajaccio

Panorama, col near Ajaccio

Panorama, col near Ajaccio

Corsican Photography Tour- Day 3

Lighthouse scene through Boston Whaler spray, near Calvi

Lighthouse scene through Boston Whaler spray, near Calvi

Lighthouse scene through Boston Whaler spray, near Calvi

Lighthouse scene through Boston Whaler spray, near Calvi

Lighthouse scene on boat near Calvi

Lighthouse scene on boat near Calvi

Enjoying the spanking new Boston Whaler, near Calvi

Enjoying the spanking new Boston Whaler, near Calvi

The French and Corsicans love a circus

The French and Corsicans love a circus

Wall Graffiti, St-Ambroggio

Wall Graffiti, St-Ambroggio

Cactus flower, St-Ambroggio

Cactus flower, St-Ambroggio

Railway tracks, St-Ambroggio

Railway tracks, St-Ambroggio

Palm and Yucca, St-Ambroggio

Palm and Yucca, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Beautiful seaside scene, St-Ambroggio

Palm tree, St-Ambroggio

Palm tree, St-Ambroggio

Gallery

Corsican Photography Tour- Day 2

Corsican Photography Tour-Day 1

Our ferry as we leave Toulon, July 6 2015 early

Our ferry as we leave Toulon, July 6 2015 early

Maure, the Corsican emblem, on the ferry stack

Maure, the Corsican emblem, on the ferry stack

Welcome to Port de L'Ile Rousse, Corsica

Welcome to Port de L’Ile Rousse, Corsica

Beautiful churches everywhere, near Calvi

Beautiful churches everywhere, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Church scene, near Calvi

Beautiful flowers, Calvi

Beautiful flowers, Calvi

Beautiful stonework, near Calvi

Beautiful stonework, near Calvi

The cat has the right idea, it's hot!

The cat has the right idea, it’s hot!

Beautiful stone architecture, near Calvi

Beautiful stone architecture, near Calvi

Beautiful flowers, near Calvi

Beautiful flowers, near Calvi

 Church exterior, near the start of our hike, Calvi

Church exterior, near the start of our hike, Calvi

 The best part of the hike- enjoying a beer afterwards- near Calvi

The best part of the hike- enjoying a beer afterwards- near Calvi

A Corsican village traffic jam!

A Corsican village traffic jam!

RLS Day Hike 6: Le Pont de Montvert to Florac

Le Pont de Montvert to Florac: Sixth day of the hike. This is going to be the big day! A 28 km hike with an injured right foot. Will I make it? The previous night my French friends came up with a plan to shorten the hike to approximately 12 or 13 km. They apparently had a car close by and one of the hikers was going to transport the vehicle to the exit location. They wanted to do this because of the very long distance and the expected high temperature of 37°C in Florac. They invited me to join them starting at 6:30 AM. I really did think hard and long about joining them. However, despite my injured foot, I was committed to completing the Stevenson trail completely and on my own steam.

In order to accomplish this I would have to start hiking by 6 AM. It was pretty much straight up from Le Pont de Montvert until you reached a nice high plateau and had a pleasant walk amongst “rocks and brooms”. The sun had not yet risen and the temperature was relatively cool at 22°C. Even though there was some pain in my right foot I pushed on. I was rewarded with a nice descent through some lovely foliage but then there was another much more sustained ascent to get up to Signal du Bouges. There were panoramic views all around. There was also an interesting set of cairns which apparently was a favourite meeting place for the Camisards, called Les Trois Fayards, from where they marched on Pont de Montevert in 1702 to ignite the Camisard War. The Signal du Bouges is the highest point of the Massif Bouges which runs parallel to Mont Lozere. Last century, the intensive exploitation of the area by local families led to the immense deforestation and the dwindling of native wild animals. Rural exodus rebalanced things and led, at the end of the 19th century, to a natural and artificial reforestation. Thus, the northern slopes of the massif are practically covered with forest nowadays.

I enjoyed walking this stretch because it was a ridge [I love ridge walks] with panoramic views. From this point, it was going to be a downhill descent of 880 m. The trail was quite similar to our alpine trails and was quite rocky and I had to be quite careful with my injured right foot to not fall or twist it.

For your information, Stevenson did not walk the same route as I did today. He headed out west from Le Pont de Montvert, along a path that is long since tarmaced as the D998, and camped out on a ledge above the Tarn. He slept badly and was later accosted by a beggar woman whom he paid off as if it were for his night’s lodgings. He then meant an old Protestant man from La Florac and opined, “ if the Garden of Eden be anywhere, it is here in the Valley of the Tarn as it goes down to Florac”.

At about the 19 km mark you arrive at a junction where you have three options to get down to Florac. Because I am a sucker for punishment, I took the longest route [which is the new GR 70] which apparently is not the route that Stevenson took [which is now the GR 68]. There was a long and steady descent that challenged the knees through the Cevennes National Park. I eventually exited the park through Bedoues and then had a shaded path to climb and then finally descend into Florac. Yeah!!! I did it. Even my right foot felt okay.

Florac is a town with a population of approximately 2000 people. It is located at the junction of three natural regions: Mount Lozere, the Cevennes and the Les Grands Causses. It is the home to the headquarters of the Cevennes National Park since 1970: it also gave birth to Le Club Cevenol, an organization of eminent locals dedicated to preserving the local heritage and environment. It was that organizations interest in Stevenson’s trek, around the centenary of his trip, that led to the finding of his “Cevennes Journal” in the United States and the launch of the GR 70 as it is known today. What a fitting way to end this part of my blog of the Robert Louis Stevenson trek. It has been most satisfying from an exertion point of view, it allowed me to experience the wonderful French countryside and the hospitality and generosity of the local French people. I feel privileged to walk along the same trails as them as well as Robert Louis Stevenson previously. I plan to take it easy in Florac today except for a nice walk around town. Tomorrow, I have to make my way back to Bormes. I have no reserved bus ticket or train tickets but will hope for the best utilizing my broken and inadequate French. There is always an adventure waiting to be experienced.

A look back at Le Pont de Montvert as I leave 6 AM

A look back at Le Pont de Montvert as I leave 6 AM

Interesting cairns, Signal du Bouges

Interesting cairns, Signal du Bouges

Signal du Bouges viewpoint

Signal du Bouges viewpoint

Yet another beautiful church, Bedoues

Yet another beautiful church, Bedoues

Yes! I did it. Here is the entrance to Florac.

Yes! I did it. Here is the entrance to Florac.

Panorama, Le Pont de Montvert to Florac

Panorama, Le Pont de Montvert to Florac

Local hillside view from the village park, Florac

Local hillside view from the village park, Florac

Stone castle, Florac

Stone castle, Florac

Le Vibron river running through Florac

Le Vibron river running through Florac

Beautiful church exterior, Florac

Beautiful church exterior, Florac

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