Above the clouds

There’s a great advantage of spending a night in an ugly RV lot. You really have to look hard to find a reason to stay or take it slow in the morning. Better just to take off asap. Effectively, this gives you a very long day to do nice things. C’est bon!

Given that we were in Malaucène – a place that I had never heard of, but that might ring a bell with the avid cyclists or sports fanatics because it’s at the base of Mt Ventoux – we wanted to see why it attracts so many people that all go in the same direction. It turned out that it’s possible to make your way up the mountain, by RV, camper van, car , or excavator, on foot, by e-bike, ATB or of course by racing bike. ‘Unfortunately’, we didn’t bring our own trekking bikes, because it’s not possible to cycle, while our baby Lara cannot keep her head up. She’s still like one of those silly wobblehead figures that some people place on their dashboards. We decided to save the bike ride for another day, and instead drove all the way up. We claim no glory whatsoever. It was an easy parking spot along the roadside, so even that was a piece of cake. Even without all the physical efforts, the views were pretty dramatic. The rains of the past few days had cleared the skies from any dust particles that may have otherwise obstructed the views. Yes. I do get why so many people come up here. I’m still not sure if I would do it myself…

Hi from above the clouds
Rafa is always leading the way!

The way down, via Sault, was fun and beautiful. Some of these cyclists are insane, going down at speeds near 70kmh. Early in the afternoon, we rolled onto a beautiful campsite in Montbrun-les-bains. I believe we have the pitches with the best views in the entire campsite, and we gladly take the lack of shade for granted. Directly behind our pitch, there’s a beautiful species-rich grassland. Most of the plants are senescing or already dead, but nonetheless, the few plants that still flower attract plenty of butterfly species that I don’t regularly see in my own home town, including several blues, and plenty of swallowtails. I also suspect that I might find common asp in the hills behind the campsite. The habitat looks pretty perfect and mostly undisturbed. Although I have kept these vipers in captivity for several years, I’ve never seen one in the wild, so I might just go on a lonely herpetology walk tomorrow morning. It’s been a while since I did that. Let’s see if I still have it in me.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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