From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Day 3 - Over the Monts de Vaucluse

What is now becoming the usual drill, well for Anne anyway !

I'm the early bird of the duo, and I love going up to feed the horses early before we hack, and this morning they were on grass, but still very enthusiastic for their hay and hard feed. Then back to the house for breakfast, then all 3 of us pack up the jeep, go back to the horses, groom them, put the boots on, into the box and off to Rustrel to start from where we had finished yesterday.
The last view of Apt
We had a last look back at Apt, we won't be seeing this from horseback for a while ! We were on an equestrian track and it started off really well, although the surface was very stony, but it was wide, with plenty of room for both horses.
Flurry inspecting the sign
Flurry stopped to examine one of the tourist information signs, just to make sure we were on the right track! He's a curious fellow, examines everything along the way, especially the fantastic views.
Chateau in the valley
Gigi tends to keep her head down and plod along, although she does stop for the occasional bit of sightseeing!
Anne and Gigi with the Ochre cliffs in the background
Towering above us was "Le Grand Montagne", but so far the track had skirted the mountains and the going was stiff but not too difficult.

Le Grand Montagne
Then everything changed and we got into some serious ascents, very rocky, and almost steps, there were two long passages of this and both horses were sweating, but going forward willingly, so when we saw the start of another really rocky ascent we decided to get off and walk. Well it was only a short passage, but we decided to keep walking and give the horses a bit of a break. Now I don't do uphill too well myself, and when I was really beginning to struggle I said to Martine to stop at the top of the next rise, so I could have a rest. Well I sat down on the rock and started to get these spasmodic pains in my lower back, I've had this before, usually after an adrenalin rush for whatever reason, and usually only for a very short time, so I said to Martine, "Don't worry, I'm fine, It'll pass". But the longer it went on, the more concerned Martine became, I was breathing in short gasps, between the spasms of pain, and doubled over trying to ease my back, and couldn't actually talk any more. Poor M , she really thought I was having a heart attack, or something similar. Anyway the pain subsided and I held the horses while photos were taken of the last bit of our ascent.

The final steep ascent
We walked a bit more, then mounted again. The scenery had changed completely, we were the other side of the mountain range and in really pretty deciduous woods, with plants I was struggling find the names for, heliobores, gentians, and wood anemones I think ! We had a couple of lovely canters, the horses were really enjoying themselves, and had recovered very quickly from the steep climb.
Suddenly we were in birch woods
The going just got easier and easier.
The landscape was much flatter on this side
And more deciduous woods in the distance.

At last we arrived at La Garde d'Apt, which consisted of 4 or 5 buildings, including this closed down auberge. We had already planned on having lunch here, and were disappointed the place seemed so closed up as we were hoping to get water for the horses as well. But we loosened their tack and let them have a good graze on the grass bordering the road.

Lagarde d'Apt - a closed down Auberge

...Church and Mairie

...and this semi-restored building

...with this magnificent road running through it
Then I discovered a tap in front of the Mairie, so I filled our collapsible water bucket and offered it to Gigi. Who proved the verity of the saying "You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink" !
Sheesh, I'm not drinking outta that!
The horses posed nicely in front of the pictures of all the presidential candidates.
Grazing in front of presidential election posters
The previous night we had discussed wether to do the rest of the journey on the road, or keep to the horse track, but the track looked quite steep in places from the map, and we both felt the horse had done enough hard work already, so we set off on the D34 to St. Christol.
I view I wasn't expecting through Flurry's ears
Both horses' boots had survived the rough terrain and the steep climbs, but this road surface seemed to really not suit them. So we both jumped off for a bit of footwear adjustment. I did Gigi's front right, and also tightened Flurry's boots as Martine's wrist is still not up to this. Now unfortunately Martine had her head buried in the map and had failed to notice that Gigi had wandered up onto the road. I looked up from doing Flurry's boots to see Gigi very purposefully heading for home ! Now as every rider knows , you NEVER run after your horse as this tends to spook them and they can run off, so I set off at a very brisk walk to try and catch up with her, but I was not making any headway, so I got as far over the other side of the road from her as I could and started to run, until I could double back and come up in front of her. I am never , ever, letting go of her again. I never thought she would leave Flurry. Another lesson learned.
Mont Doom - I mean Ventoux
So on we continued, past a snow capped Mont Ventoux, which we are NOT going to ride over !
The landscape was reminiscent of the Burren
And through some very different countryside.
View across the valley over a military base
Until we arrived at our designated rendez-vous spot with George, overlooking a military base in one direction, and St Christol in another. We both agreed that while the going had been very easy on the road, with hardly any traffic, it was pretty boring after the earlier part of the ride.
San Christol
George arrived, we loaded up, had a quick snack and headed home, where we passed by Colorado Provencal and could see the track we had taken the day before.
We think that trail is the GR 6 which we followed into Colorado Provencal yesterday
Another successful day! Tomorrow is a rest day, and Monday we finally leave Céreste and set up base in Sault for 3 days.
That's another 14.4km covered, 463.6km to go!

Day 3 crossing monts de vaucluse at EveryTrail

1 comment:

  1. It is great to read of your journey. I am looking forward to following (enviously) along.