Les Mées

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    • Day 42


      November 13 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      We woke up at 6:30am. It was lucky we did because at 6:45 the binmen turned up to empty the bins across the road. After coffees we got dressed and moved over to the dump station to get fresh water. We’d both decided to have long hot showers yesterday afternoon after arriving and desperately needed water. Unfortunately the pressure on the water tap was useless and it was also a push button tap. I stood there for 15 minutes with my hand on the button and we were still only half full so we just gave up.
      All we had to do today was drive to another aire and I’d found us what looked to be a beautiful place. But first we had to get there and that meant driving out of the haute-alps region which I wasn’t looking forward to.
      The thing with TomTom is once it picks a route you can’t really tell what terrain you’re going to get until you get there.
      Once TomTom had planned the route I looked at it and changed it to a straighter route with less switchbacks, I wasn’t sure if the switchbacks were going up or down on the route but a straight run would be better on me and Wanda.
      At 9am we left and drove back down the tight roads and cobbled streets we came in on. They were busier this morning than yesterday and as I turned right out of the village we started climbing. At the top of the hill there was a junction off to the right. This was the way we drive in that was full of switchbacks but now we continued straight on and up. We reached the summit of the first climb at 800 meters. Wanda didn’t mind as the bends were long and gradual so I could keep it in third gear and she just pulled us up. Then came the decent and we were almost back at ground level in a long valley with mountains either side and in front of us and a river running to our left. I commented on the size of the mountains in front and said I hope we’re going through them and not over the top.
      We weren’t going through.
      Gradually the road started rising. We hardly noticed it until we got to the first bend and realised the ground was hundreds of feet below us and we were literally driving around the side of the mountain. It just kept climbing and although there were no real switchbacks there were lots of blind corners on sharp bends where I literally had to stop and edge us around because 2 cars wouldn’t fit.
      After 30 minutes we reached the summit and we’d just climbed Col des Lèques from La Tuilière in the region Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It is 6.6km long and bridges 343 vertical meters with an average gradient of 5.2%, and a maximum gradient of 13.9%.. The summit of the ascent is located at 1148 meters above sea level. All we had to do now was get over the other side.
      We had 20 miles of driving left and it was a beautiful drive running through the gorge du Verdon with Mont Blanc as a backdrop with its huge snowy white cap. It looked very imposing even with the other mountains around it.
      At midday we arrived at our park up for the night in the village of Malijai. It’s a beautiful park up next to a huge children’s park that has a fenced in 5 aside football area, 2 tennis courts and a pump track and bmx track. The Motorhome area is closed off because snowfall is imminent in this area but the car parks are still open and there were already 4 motorhomes at the furthest car park so we chose to stay in the cars car park where the dump station is.
      Our first port of call was to get water but the water supply has been turned off until April to protect it from the frost so we’ll have to make do with what we collected this morning until we can find a tap. All we had to do now was chill for the rest of the day.
      I checked my app to see if there were any bike rides in the area and there were lots but most involved going on a main road and after looking for an hour I gave up.
      Another hour past and it was now 2pm and Ellie was watching YouTube but I was bored so I said let’s go for a walk.
      There was a canal behind us that’s part of the EDF hydro electric damn and after spending an hour looking for a bike ride I knew the area pretty well and knew we could walk along it.
      We left Wanda and headed down a small road and into the village. It really was tiny with just a handful of shops. At the village we crossed over the main highway we came in on and we were at the Canal then we just started walking.
      There was nothing much to see but we were heading towards a forested area and just followed the route of the canal. Then I remembered reading something on my app about giant hoodoos in the area and suggested we might try and walk to them.
      After 80 minutes of walking we came to the very impressive hoodoos. They are known as Rochers des pénitents. According to the legend, After the king of the area had won a war he returned with some captured girls. A few years later the king was visited by a group of monks who rescued the girls but Saint Donat transformed the monks into rocks since they had fallen in love with the captured Moorish girls.
      Once we got to Rochers des pénitents we turned around and headed back. It was a surprisingly warm 16°c and of course we hadn’t taken any water.
      We got back to Wanda at 4:30pm and we had walked over 6 miles. I worked out that so far just hiking on this trip we have walked over 120 miles. That doesn’t include going to attractions, walking around towns or shopping so we probably done over 200 miles of walking.
      We made cups of tea as soon as we got back and put the tv on and watched an incredible orange and red sunset over the mountains. It was our best sunset of the trip. Then we had dinner, closed the blinds and settled in for the night.
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    • Day 10

      Les Mées - Rochers de Penitents

      October 25, 2021 in France ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      Sisteron hab ich trotz einiger Empfehlungen mal ausgelassen, war mir schon beim Durchfahren zu voll...

      Wenn man auf Les Mées zufährt sieht man schon von weitem die Felsformation Rochers de Penitents, Die Büßer.
      Da haben wir erstmal eine 2,5stündige Wanderung gemacht.

      Es gibt einen schönen etwa 5km langen Rundweg, der bei der kleinen Kapelle beginnt und dann gefühlt Ewigkeiten bergauf geht, selbst oben auf dem Grat. Irgendwann geht es dann auf der anderen Seite durch den Wald steil wieder bergab und durch den Ort wieder zum Ausgangspunkt.

      Ganz schön anstrengend bei der Wärme 🥵 Rudi hatte irgendwie auch bald keine Lust mehr und wollte ständig umkehren, auch noch als wir die Runde fast rum waren... 🙄
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Les Mées, Les Mees

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