Wellies and waterfalls

Roquefort-les-cascades
cascades roquefot
This week we made a family trip to visit the nearby waterfall at Roquefort. Us, Sam’s family and Marisa’s family made the plan. By chance Keira arrived at Les T with her two little ones just before we set off. So we all pilled into Sam’s new people carrier van and set off for the day.

The cascades start as a spring bubbling out of the rocks high up on top of a hill. The water sweeps with force through the forest before tumbling over a ledge and pouring 5 meters down onto a rocky ledge before dropping another 5 meters. Then the water weaves a web of channels round trees, rocks and more drops.
roquefort
roquefort tunnel
The rock is heavy in calcite which over time has been deposited by the water on rock surfaces and even on plants and moss. It is said that the rate of calcite building up on the rocks is 1.5 meters every 60 years! This natural geological curiosity is the same as the calcified waterfall we encountered in the desert south of Morocco only this waterfall had plenty more water.

All the kids had fun. Everyone got wet – naturally – even with wellies. The rocks were not slippery so no one fell in but still – the spray in the air was enough.
picnic
family time
Roquefort (a short drive north east of Lavalanet) is a small village in the hills. There is also a highly recommended restaurant there (run by some Brits). It has a small fixed menu that changes with what is locally available.

Above the village opposite to the cascades are the ruins of a castle. That is for another day.

We all agreed that the kids had so much fun that we will organize another trip some time. Perhaps to the gorge and chateaux at Terme. Or perhaps the ‘secret’ waterfalls near Auriac.

Big thanks to Sam for driving everyone.
sam and Olga
Luca
Padme waterfall
Cascades Roquefort winter
high waterfall

Les Tougnets at -2C

We are finally getting a taste of a proper winter here in Les Tougnets. The temperature hovers between -1 and -2C during the day. That is without the wind chill which at 32km/h is blasting over the col. The wind is carrying all the snow that settled over the last few days and building up drifts over a meter deep.
Les Tougnets in the snow
Access from the col is blocked by drifts but a 4×4 can still get in and out of the hamlet from the more sheltered Saint Jean road. The Mayor of Saint Jean just popped in, with his Toyota 4×4 to make sure everyone are ok. If the winters here were long and snowy I imagine this hamlet could quite easily get buried under the snow. Point to note: we need cross country skis.
Jac's house under snow
We tested the 4×4. No problems in ice and snow until it gets to one meter deep. Then the resistance of the under body becomes too much. We ran the test trying to climb up the road with the heavy drifts. If we carried a spade then no problem. Still, the Wolf has been invaluable pulling several vans and a car out of the hamlet.
snow bull
This afternoon I need to get to the vets. I shall take the wolf. Needless to say – there was no school today for Anika or Leon