Unfortunately, the first thing we found was that the road through the Dentelles was “route barre”. The deviation signs lead down roads too small to be on my driving map, and we were soon forced to head back to the main road and try a different approach. We drove around to the east and tried again, but that road turned private after a while instead of reconnecting with our original road like I’d hoped. The next road was more fruitful; a sign for mountain climbers lead us to a trail heading straight up to the base of some of the rocks. We decided to not take our packed lunch with us but to just go on a short hike.
For a short hike we picked a good one; we came out right at a pass between two bits of “lace.” But the wind! It was gusting strong enough to knock you over! We climbed up to the narrow gap (which was probably exacerbating the wind issue) in fits and starts as the wind would practically send us flying off the mountain and then stop altogether for a few seconds. When it is windy in France, it is windier than anywhere else I’ve been! Going down was even harder than coming up; we had to alternate crab-walking and clinging to the rock with quick dashes in the lulls.
|I am sitting down and still actively holding on to the rock!|
|Looking back at the Dentelles|
A little disappointed, we decided to add another stop to our day: the gorges de la Nesque. Located in the valley to the south of the mountain, the gorge was not really on the way home but we decided to cut across and pretend it was : ) The color on the trees, while fading, was lovely, and the road and tunnels made for a very scenic drive. We’d ended up driving much more today than we’d expected, so we made one last stop to hike a short trail to another Chapelle St-Michele. It was located at under an overhang at the river’s edge, straight down the gorge wall from where we’d parked. But our legs were glad for a stretch!
|Alan overlooking the gorge|
|Is that an angel? Nope, just Alan... lol : )|
The sun started to set as we reached the car again, and the whole way home the sky amazed us with a fiery show of colors. I couldn’t get enough of it, and we had to stop a couple of times for photos. By the time we reached Lacoste it was dark, and we hurried home to finish packing our bags in preparation for tomorrow’s early morning departure.
|Mt. Ventoux (still in the clouds)|
|Photos just don't do it justice...|