Mourre Negre or Tea in Saignon

Today we went for a walk.  Our starting point was Auribeau, a tiny village I’d never heard of.  Our destination – Mourre Negre or rather the France telecom tower we can see from our house that stands at 1111metres.  We climbed 523metres (roughly 1500 feet) in an hour and a half, covering just over 2.5km.  This is officially the start of my training for my new challenge…  In 2009 I made it to the Nepalese side of Everest Base Camp, by the end of this year I intend to make it to the Tibetan side.  Then it’s on to the World’s remaining top four highest base camps – K2, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, Lhoste and Makalu.  K2 will take some doing as it’s in Pakistan so I’ll most definitely not be doing them in order…but Hoorah for a new challenge!The snow made the view from the top beautiful but completely impossible to capture with my ageing camera.  On a good day you can see 40km, today we saw 10km at the most.  After a mad scramble down in deep snow we went to Saignon for tea, pastries and a better vantage point from the top of the Bellevue fort.  The entrance to the ruins was accompanied by a huge sign saying PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK and after about three minutes of climbing you could see why.  No handrails, no balustrades just wonky, foot worn steps!  How great! and how unlike Britain where anything like this would be an English Heritage site.  The views from the top were incredible.    Below – an adorable sign and proof that your destination is always in the fold of the map.

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