Extract from Travels With Tinkerbelle, 6,000 Miles Around France In A Mechanical Wreck (Blackbird Digital Books 2012) by Susie Kelly. Susie has written some great paper and digital books about her travels in France.
Crossing the silky green waters of the river Garonne into Haute-Garonne leads into a sparsely inhabited wild countryside of hills and trees. The forêt dominiale de la vallée du Gers is a fairyland of young trees, mosses, ferns and fallen bronze leaves. Tinkerbelle struggles with the haul up the Col de Portet d’Aspet. Her temperature gauge sticks in the red, and here we are almost in the middle of nowhere. What will we do if she gives up the ghost? Roll backwards all the way down to the bottom? But brave old lady, she keeps crawling upward, and just when we think she won’t make it, we reach the top and see a welcome sign to a campsite.
On a scale of one to ten, this campsite scores eleven. Standing on a plateau surrounded by peaks, with nothing above us except white-headed mountain tops and a pair of birds circling lazily. We walk in the cool of the beech trees with the dogs, letting them run off their pent-up energy of the last few days. It is 10.30pm and where two mountains meet on the valley floor the sky fades from aquamarine to baby blue. The golden sun settles down for the night. Utterly heavenly.
We wake to an early-morning chorus unequalled by anything we’ve ever heard before. It sounds as if all the songbirds in the world have gathered in the trees around us and are singing their very best solely for our pleasure. This is another of those places we could have happily stayed forever.
More France Articles
- WALK THIS WAY: A NEW TWIST ON SEEING THE FRENCH RIVIERA - June 6th, 2013
- Alpinkreaktiv – Trekking for Women - June 5th, 2013
- I Love France - May 22nd, 2013
- Walking the Cinque Terre - can I do it? - February 6th, 2013
- Travels with Tinkerbelle - September 10th, 2012