Quite a lot of time in the car…

Quite a lot of time in the car the last few days. I’m sat here writing this, listening to The Photographer, his Wife, her Lover on BBC Four… it’s rather interesting, but does appear to be about a bunch of nutters.

Well, the last couple of days… we headed to Mazaugues, where Mum was convinced there was a walk to be done. On the way she told me she hadn’t actually looked at a map… when pushed she admited she didn’t know there was a walk. So, I grabbed her Nikon D2X to see what I could do with it…

More of those planetrees

More of those planetrees

Took ages playing around getting this. not that used to full DSLRs

Took ages playing around getting this. not that used to full DSLRs

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I think I'm getting better, the results are miles better than the Casio when you get it right

So we then headed off to a Monistary, pretty much built into the side of the Baume, which was believed to be the hiding place of Mary Magdalen after the death of Jesus. Since then, the cave in which she hid has been turned into a monistary where a silent order of monks live.

The hike up, however, provided most of the good photos… since I spent the most time on it. Mum was coming with me and didn’t quite keep the pace… I had plenty of time.

This was not a hike, there were stairs

This was not a hike, there were stairs

By the time I ascended the 600 vertical metres, the monistary itself seemed a lot bigger than it did at the bottom.

The monistary, and that is a mountain behind it... it was big

The monistary, and that is a mountain behind it... it was big

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On the way up we kept hearing falling, crashing sounds. These icicles explain that

The view... totally worth it

The view... totally worth it

That hike was certainly worth it when we got up there. We had 15 minutes but had to come back down as we had to race back to the shop to get Bob off to his French lesson. Since we were short of time, we/I had to break the no fast food rule… but the again I did get to take a blurry shot of an achieved life long ambition…

Beer with McDonalds! I want it at home, but the UK isn't ready for it yet.

Beer with McDonalds! I want it at home, but the UK isn't ready for it yet.

The rest of the day was spent at the shop setting up a new website for them (well, I would have if the content had been ready) and migrating the email to Google Apps (which went very smoothly and is great!)

Steak for tea.

Today was the trip to the Verdon Gorge, which is easily one of my favorite places in the South of France. The drive up there was rather windy… in fact most of the day was in the car to take in the view.

A panorama of the plains as you approach the Gorge. Click the image for the large version to see the detail (it's worth it! zoom in and scroll around)

A panorama of the plains as you approach the Gorge. Click the image for the large version to see the detail (it's worth it! zoom in and scroll around)

We stopped at a Comps-sur-Artuby for lunch and found there was some sort of (car) rally going on… and we had wondered into the support staging area.

They were taking it all very seriously... even had sponsorship

They were taking it all very seriously... even had sponsorship

These, and people walking around in Nomex suits, gave the game away! It was a a rally

These, and people walking around in Nomex suits, gave the game away! It was a a rally

You can see them slightly in the background there, there were loads of tents/trucks to support the incoming cars. I think they were mostly classics rather than modern ones, but it was interesting non the less.

We pressed on to the Gorge itself… and stopped at a great viewing point where I took this second panorama:

This was about 12 shots in total, stitched together. I had to leave the blackborders on to get everything significant in.

This was about 12 shots in total, stitched together. I had to leave the blackborders on to get everything significant in.

Again, you might want to zoom in there to get an idea of just how big this place really is… it took 12ish photos to get all that stuff in! No photo can do the scale of it reall justice. On the trip along the Gorge we were over 1200m at some points.

That cave was huge

That cave was huge! And that is snow in the background!

There was snow at the higher altitudes too, there hasn’t been any in weeks but it was still there!

The Verdon heading into Lac St-Croix in the distance

The Verdon heading into Lac St-Croix in the distance

We headed down to Aiguines, again, deserted due it to it being the off season and got a bit closer to Lac St-Croix, which is brilliantly blue from up above.

This photo doesn't do it full justice

This photo doesn't do it full justice

After getting some decent air at the lake, we headed back again… pretty extensive roadtrip that! I had the GPS unit going the whole time for geotagging purposes (so I could associate photos to places), and flung it into Google Earth when I got back:

Again, click on that for the fullsize

Again, click on that for the fullsize

Now I have to go sleep off this carsick feeling.

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