On Sundays (or weekends) we like to walk around a bit at/on/under one of the surrounding mountains. Just for a short hike or walk if the weather permits. And since it was Sunday yesterday, we went out again. This time we were accompanied by our dutch guest for the weekend. He is a former colleague of Eduard, who decided to visit us for a short break.
The evening before the preparations started. Eduard always tries to find a hike which I’m comfortable with, when he sets out the day. I like my walks to be shorter than three hours and I like to walk sweet and gradual slopes. It shouldn’t be too heavy, hahaha. And for that reason we have now build a big collection of maps and books that showcase randonees you can take in our neighbourhood.
Yesterday for example he used the Isère guide by Roger Hémon called ‘Isère : 130 randonnées à pied et à VTT‘. It shows a big number of short and long walks around Chambaran, Oisans, Belledonne, Trièves, Valbonnais & Chartreuse. This book dictated the walk we were going to take on Sunday.
We first decided to drive up the Gorges du Nan, that we had visited earlier already. We hadn’t seen the canyon from the top though, so we drove all the way up. To our surprise it was all white when we arrived. It was also national snowshoeing day and after I took a few steps in the snow I totally understood why. At this top you could get free snowshoes to use over your own shoes and you could join a free one hour tour with one of their guides. All because they were celebrating this yearly snowshoeing day.
After a few shots of the view from up on the canyon, we decide to move down again and take a walk below the snow line as we (especially me) were more equipped for a walk without the snow. The view from there was marvellous though. I especially loved this snow border. Winter IS coming!
Then we drove down to the walk we wanted to take. There was some misunderstanding about the length of the walk. Apparently it was a bike trail, so the 30 minutes trail would take longer by foot. We started walking anyway and decided to walk back if it was too long. We only had a bit over two hours to be back at the car before sundown.
The walk started in between the long fields of walnut trees as we were in the walnut valley again. There was no fence around the trees, so the owners had pinned pieces of paper on them which said that it was prohibited to pick walnuts (in the right season). Funny!
We also walked by a few persinnamon trees which weren’t picked and were starting to rot now. It’s a funny fruit I must say. People don’t really seem to like it, but it grows like crazy. I need to experiment a bit more with it and then find a way to start growing my own as well. It’s not my favourite fruit ever. But it’s different, so I like it.
Right after the trees the road turned towards the mountain and we slowly entered a mossy jungle. The green colours of the moss that was – literary – growing everywhere was really enchanting.
We walked along side the river and crossed it at one of the bridges next to some small water falls. The melting water was so clear and blue. Beautiful!
After we had left the river we were on our way back to the car. We had started following the directions on the road itself and suddenly walked up this lonely caravan and ended up at this hairy domesticated he-goat that belonged to the man with the blue hat, who lived here. As I was walking behind them, they both had decided to ask for directions and from the back I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This goat! Seriously! Look at him! He was part of the conversation. It was magical, like in fairytales.
Anyway, the old guy told us to go back – uhm – all the way? Eduard insisted on saying that we had come from that way but that we wanted to go the other way. After persisting a few times, the nice man asked him to walk along with him and while the goat was keeping a close eye on them, they walked up the hill behind the house and from a height Eduard was asked to tell the old man where our car was. When they saw the car, the old man told him how we should walk back.
And so we followed his directions and we arrived back at the car just before dark. With these encounters, I always wonder if the walk would have been as good if we didn’t take a wrong turn and didn’t end up at this pretty awesome he-goat.