Gorge du Verdon a walker and rider’s dream

The Gorge du Verdon in Provence offers spectacular riding and views from the top of the Gorge and walks up the cliff face and through the Gorge.

Unfortunately due to the long drought in Europe the water levels I n the Verdon River were low but the views still spectacular. And the cold water inviting for a soak on a hot day.

Castellane was my base for exploring the Gorge.

The imposing rock at the edge of the town provides a first glimpse down the Gorge.

Point Sublime is about 17km along the Gorge Road from Castellane and is a starting point for a number of Gorge walks and for canyoning.

The short ride to the Point gave a taste of the riding joys to come but first day was hiking.

It’s about a 300 metre decent down into the gorge a 1 km walk.

At the bottom of the gorge the first stop has to be a dip in the river.

The walk along the Gorge floor follows a tracks, sometimes beside the river, sometimes cut into the cliff and sometimes a tunnel through the cliff.

The next day was for exploring the road around the top of the Gorge and ended up doing some storm dodging and chasing but what views!!!

Some have said the Gorge du Verdon is amongst the most beautiful places in Europe. I won’t argue.

It certainly makes a wonderful backdrop for the Mighty Breva.

Dear friends a lot happened between La Rochelle and Castellane. I’m in Tuscany now and a lot has happened since Castellane. Sometimes adventuring gets in the way of blogging. Luckily this is a discontinuous narrative and I can fill in the gaps later.

La Rochelle, a fortified harbour.

La Rochelle is a wonderful maritime city on the Bay of Biscay. A busy fortified harbour and trading port since the 13th century it is now more orientated toward recreation boating and maritime history.

And the old port is beautiful.

By day…

And by night

In the historic maritime area next to the old port there is the Maritime museum with a collection of historic vessels.

A major reason that I visited La Rochelle was to see Bernard Moitessier’s yacht Joshua.

If you don’t know the story of Mortessier I encourage you to click on the link above.

Unfortunately, Joshua was undergoing renovation so I could only view this historic vessel from the outside.

After a couple of days at the Municipal Camping Ground in La Rochelle it was time to load up the Mighty Breva and continue my pilgrimage to Mandello de Lario

Have you heard of the Moncoutant photographic exhibition.

Moncoutant sur Sevre is a beautiful village in Deax Servages and each year it hosts a amazing outdoor photographic exhibition.

I’ve been lucky to be to 4 exhibitions.

It’s not just the quality of the images but the curating in placement around the Village. I have tried to capture both aspects of the exhibition.

Near to Montoucant is the Fortified Farm B&B. A fantastic place to stop take a break when heading east across France toward the Alps or beyond.

The rain had started when I arrived in France. A friend suggested I might be made a saint for breaking the drought!

I was happy to have a bed rather that putting up a tent, thanks to my hosts.

It wasn’t all wet and Jazz the whippet enjoyed the sun.

And me a walk in the forest.

At cloudless night and the low light of rural France gave a clear view of the Milky Way.

A perfect way to finish a stay with the most hospitable hosts in France.

From Plymouth to Brittany is just a short ferry ride.

The Plymouth Hoe looks over the harbour the original lighthouse standing guard.

I was on my way back to Europe to slowly work my way to Italy for the 100th anniversary celebrations of Moto Guzzi at Mandello del Lario.

The ferry was coming in ready for the trip across to France the next day.

The sun was setting on a month back in England.

And the August full moon rising a true mark of the next phase of this adventure that commenced back in May as I headed to Morocco

It’s about a 7 hour ferry ride to Brittany from Plymouth. The coast of Brittany is just beautiful, the beaches, the rocky outcrops the racing tides of the cold North Atlantic.

I set up my camp at the municipal camp ground near Plouarzel.

And go for a swim in the cold ocean.

It was great to be back by the ocean.

The giant of gulls the Atlantic black backed gull skimming over the water.

And the moods of the cold ocean, clear blue skies one day and sea fog the next.

A schooner ghosts past the offshore islands in the fog.

Italy is a long way east and Brittany is at the western most point of France

So the cool weather meant time to make distance east.

The Ferry from Santander to Portsmouth

Santander is capital of the Spanish Provence of Cantabria and a major seaside city. Beaches and a ferry port all part of the the mix the city offers.

It was so different leaving Santander March 2 years ago when the pandemic and a lockdown drove me out of Spain. http://piecemealadventurer.com/2020/03/23/travelling-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-the-last-ferry-from-santander/

A beautiful summers day a yacht on the water sailing alongside the ferry.

As it left the harbour

Up on deck we spotted whales in the Bay of Biscay Abyss. Can you see the spout?

Agh how I missed the sight of the open sea when I was confined to cabin. At that time, like all of us, unaware how much time confined to hotel rooms, to our houses and neighbourhoods lay ahead.

How amazing to travelling internationally adventuring and watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

White cliffs up the Solent welcomed me back to Great Britain.

It’s a bit of a heatwave as I sit in my sister’s house in London. Covid 19 hasn’t gone away and being in a big city like London requires caution but life is an adventure to be lived so let’s live it.