Monday, 18 November 2013

Adventures in the Sidobre

Last weekend was another long weekend this time due to Armistice Day. We had planned to go walking in the Pyrenees with friends but the weather forecast was again not good so instead we all decided to go to the Tarn area and go for a walk in the Sidobre. The Sidobre is well known for its impressive natural rock formations - similar to the moeraki boulders in Otago, New Zealand. We drove up to the Tarn in convoy and enjoyed the beautiful Autumn colours en route.

We headed towards a lake in the area for lunch and got out of the car to discover that it was freezing cold - only an hour and a quarter north of Toulouse but about 8 degrees colder! We looked around for a walking track and got onto what looked like some sort of track. It was a lovely walk through the autumn trees and over a very rickety bridge but after only ten minutes we popped out onto the road. We knew that the next rock formations were not far away but did not fancy walking along the road as it was very busy. We all found it a bit odd that there did not seem to be any marked walking tracks linking the sights. So we decided to walk back to the car and drive. The next thing to look at was the Rivieres ou chaos (river of boulders) This was a very impressive sight but I found it a bit disconcerting standing on huge boulders hearing rushing water under my feet. I guess it has been like that for thousands of years so the chance of me dislodging a boulder and falling into the depths was reasonably remote.

Penelope half way down the river of boulders.

Jasper and Silas at the bottom of the boulders.

Standing among some of the huge rocks at the bottom of the river.

We headed back up to the cars and Kari and John decided to head home but we thought we would go and have a look at some more of the rocks. We drove a bit further and came to the La Peyro Clabado which was a very large boulder balanced on a much smaller boulder.

We drove a bit further along but very quickly the road got very narrow and we were soon juggling for space along with walkers and cyclists. We parked the car and I jumped out to see if there was anything else significant to look at (the kids were a bit sick of getting in and out of the car) but after walking for a bit still hadn't got to the Roc de l'Oie and decided that maybe this was the walking track we had been looking for!

We had a great day adventuring but I think the tourism board could do a bit more in marking walkways as there were heaps of people out and about and the sights could easily be linked by a nice track. We came across a great picnic area where the mountain bike race started from but again it was not marked on our map and there appeared to be no walking tracks off it as everyone was walking on the roads.

We took a different road home and once again were in awe of the French countryside and the random little bastide villages sitting on top of hills. What this area lacks in decent walkways they make up for in gorgeous little towns!!

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