Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Following the yellow blob path

On Friday Claire, Rebecca and I went on an adventure. The adventure began with buying mini brioche at the Brioche Dorée, and taking the metro to Vaise, but managing to leave Rebecca stranded on the platform at Bellecour (it was okay, she took the next metro). At Vaise, we took bus number 84 to Poleymieux aux Monts d'Or. Bus number 84 turned out to be a minibus with 8 seats and a bit of standing room. The card bleeper was broken, but in any case they didn't seem to care whether one had a ticket or not. The journey was about 15 minutes, given that the distance is not that great and the minibus bombed along the tiny windy country roads at a rate of knots. Amazingly, we managed to get off said bus at the right stop, just next to the church in Poleymieux, where we were pleased to find a noticeboard telling us about walking in the Monts d'Or…after all, that's what we'd come to do but since none of us had been before and my map was a bit stupid (more on this in a moment), we'd have been a bit stumped without any signs. From a little home research I had already discovered that the Monts d'Or (which are not mountains, in case any of you were wondering, but rather diminutive–but pretty–hills) have many many walking/mountain biking paths but these are organised into circular routes most of which are about 6km long (a nice sunday afternoon stroll but not a day's adventure), and two of which are more like 30km (a day's adventure, but sounded like a lot to us, we'll do this next time). There is nothing in between, and most importantly, there is no map which has them all marked on, so deciding to do part of one walk and part of another is a fairly complex affair. Actully, it's more complex than that: the mont d'or maps themselves never cover the whole area but do mark separate circuits and tell you in what colour they are "balisé" (signed). I managed to find an OS map (well not OS but you know what I mean) which had the whole area and all the paths on it, but ALL the signed paths were marked in dark pink. So when you saw "red route this way, yellow route right" you had no idea which was the one you were following, or indeed what would happen if you took the red one instead. However, with some map-reading and a little common sense, and a few real signposts telling you where each path was headed, we managed to do exactly what we'd planned. It was about 10km, so pretty short but as a result we had time to take it at a most leisurely pace, and even to stop for a drink in a mid-way village where we found a very french village bar in a square where the old men were playing boules, and which had tables outside in the sunshine. Aaaah. It was very sunny and very pretty. A good adventure.

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