Saturday, June 21, 2008

Best Trail Run Ever! - Conclusion

Continued from the previous posts

Boy am I glad we decided to go into the Fort de Buoux. One of the neatest sights I've seen. A really old fort, with parts from the 16th and 17th centuries, but also the remains of a church from 13th and even one section that they said was "Gallo-Roman," so presumably sometime around 100 A.D. or so. Pretty awesome.

It's a really low-key space, and it should really stay that way. Totally dangerous – lots of cliffs with no railings, huge drop-offs, etc. It was really a great way of using natural surroundings to keep intruders out.

This was around the time that Helen's camera started flashing "low battery." So there are fewer pictures of the rest of the run. But basically, we were back down at Seguin. The route called for us to head out the same way we had in the first route, but we decided to take the more shaded, less picturesque route back up to Sivergues. Since we were running out of batteries anyway, not taking pictures of mountain goats that may or may not be there seemed less important. From Sivergues we headed to Le Castelas and on past it.

This is the 'village' of Le Castelas, not counting the parking area across the road:

The following pictures are from the far point of the first day's run (around the 3/4 point of the second run), and show some of the beauty of both the little road/path we were on and the valley below it.

The next part of the run was nice; but it came with a lot of hype (from the two hikers we saw the day before). Basically, it goes up to a different spot on the same ridge as before, and we wound up thinking that this climb to the ridge wasn't as nice as the one coming up out of Vaugines; and in some ways, the views weren't as good back into the valley as they were in the pictures above. But of course, there's always something satisfying about reaching the top and knowing that, literally, it's all downhill from there.

That said, the rest of the run - down from the ridge and into Vaugines - was tough. One road, straight ahead, and not that technical, but just brutal on the knees and quads. I did manage to stay on my feet (unlike some other people I could mention!) but it was rough.

Getting back into Vaugines was nice a great reward after such a long run. It's a cute little village. Here's Helen running down one of the streets:

And here's the two of us at the village's one cafe, after enjoying our Orangina and generally starting to recover from the run.

There's actually a pizza place right next door (if you make the picture large enough, you can see where is says 'origan' – oregano – on the wall behind us). But it was midday and the place was closed, we were pretty sweaty, and it's not like the place serves slices to go. So we headed off, back to visit the village of Lourmarin some, then back to the hotel outside of Apt. A nice hotel, by the way. The nice part of that part of Provence isn't the towns. It's the countryside, the trail system, and the people. We really had nice people the whole way, as long as we stayed out of the more touristy areas. The couple who ran the Fort de Buoux filled up our water bottle for us (twice!), the folks at the hotel gave us lots of advice on where to go, people on the trails were nice and always said bonjour, the waiter at the cafĂ© in Vaugines took our picture for us. Overall, a fun place. I don't know what it's like later in the summer, when things start to fill up. But this time of year, it's a real treat, and a great opportunity to run the best trail run ever.

No comments: