Friday, 13 May 2016

A view of Montagne Ste Victiore

Tuesday 10th May, 2016

Cezanne's depiction of Montagne Ste Victiore as an irregular pyramid is untypical. The mountain is actually a long limestone escarpment so viewed from most angles It looks distinctly rectilinear - a slab of white limestone. However, from the gate of the campsite at Beaurecueil it conforms to the pictorial version, which pleases me. For Gill this is matterless, it's the geology that counts not its existence as a cultural icon.

Camping Ste Victoire, so called for obvious reasons, is probably a former municipal. It has that well run, no nonsense feel, with eccentric facilities, metal doors on the showers and a couple of Turkish toilets for anyone of a nostalgic disposition yearning for Clochmerle France. However the showers are good, there is a small alimentation on site and not only does the regular bus to Aix stop right at the gate, but it's also an easy walk to a car park where marked trails lead off into the forest and hills of the Ste Victoire massif.

Camping Ste Victoire - a nice wooded site with big pitches and somewhat ancient facilities.
We would have made better use of its location had the rainy weather, forecast for yesterday, not finally arrived today. There is sunshine between the showers, however our planned bike ride during a dry spell was abandoned after we discovered that most of the contents of a bottle of laundry liquid had leaked in the rear garage coating the contents in a soapy slime. By the time we had cleaned-up the opportunity for cycling had gone. Perhaps it was for the best as Gill must have crash landed in bed last night; she is suffering with a crick in her neck and shoulder which gives her a certain Richard II appearance right now. Lifting two heavy eBikes on and off the rack is probably not a good plan for the moment. Instead, when the weather cleared a little in the late afternoon, we managed a walk in the woods for about 3km or so. It is very pleasant here, and worth a return visit one day in better weather.

It's less than a kilometre to where the walks on the Montaigne Ste Victoire massif commence.

We followed one by a stream towards a marble quarry.

Lovely pine woods - very. Cezanne

The quarry

interestingly variegated rocks 

Nice walk, it only drizzled occassionally, and at least the rain was tepid.
The site has a free wifi marquee opposite reception. I have been using it during the dull weather to catch up with the blog, though my virtual world is still almost a week behind reality. At least the marquee allows me to connect under shelter, though the white canvas walls rendered the place more or less unusable in bright weather as the reflection on screen results in you having  to pressing your nose up to the laptop while squinting to find the mouse icon. I have, however, discovered that it is possible to operate a touch screen with the tip of your nose, but I am struggling to think of the circumstances where this rare skill would have a practical application.

We need to be heading north in earnest by next Sunday. We have changed our route plans somewhat because of the unsettled weather. The rain is forecast to persist for longer in the Massif Central. Our original plan was to take a slow drive northwest through Ales, Clermont Ferrand, Vichy, and Bourges, stopping at Blois for a few days to do some of the Loire cycle trails. In effect that would perfectly track the progress of the rain band. Plan B - hang around in the South visiting the Estaque Calanque, stop off near Meze at the cheap Loupian municipal, then take the toll-free motorway north through Millau. The field in France goes on hold, beach bums return!


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