Thursday, 30 September 2010

Le Rocher Vacilliant, near Aullène

As the weather has now cooled down a bit after another scorching summer, we can finally start doing some of the mountain walks which are too exposed during the height of season.

I am still suffering from a knee injury, so we decided to play it safe and choose a walk from our book of ‘walks for all the family’ with a difficulty rating of 1. OK, so it’s maybe a bit cowardly, but I didn’t want to get stuck at the top and have to be dragged down the mountain by my ankles!

I am very easily persuaded to excursions of any kind, so as usual, I hadn’t paid much attention to the details of exactly what we were going to do. It came as a bit of a shock when I found out that the Rocher Vacillant is a 50 ton rock perched on top of another so you can climb up onto it and rock it from side to side – eek!

Did I also mention that it’s a climb of 100-150m up to it? No, well that came as a bit of a surprise too!

I wasn’t at all convinced that we could really move such an enormous slab of granite, so I got a bit over excited when Florence tried walking up and down and I could see the gap opening and closing.

The scenery was amazing and although there was some cloud, it sort of added to the moody atmosphere, especially when we discovered the 'Tete de Mort' which is a huge boulder in the form of a skull!

We spent ages taking photos of ourselves with it, but didn’t discover that there was actually a tomb inside until we were on the way back down the track and bumped into someone we knew. It makes you wonder if there was an ancient settlement up here in the middle of nowhere, or whether the dead were brought up especially...

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