Friday, 10 February 2012
Last weekend after a mild winter the sudden drop in temperatures had caught us on the hop and we found our stock of logs was getting very low. No problem, we had plenty in reserve at Pavillon our old holiday home just 40 miles away. Snow was forecast later in the day but again no problem, we were ready early and would be there and back inside 2 hours in time to snuggle down in front of a blaze!
How wrong we were! We were about halfway when it started to snow, nothing too bad at first but by the time we arrived it was coming down thick. We didn't dare drive down the steep drive into the garden so kept the car on the roadside and barrowed the logs up through a steadily thickening snowfall.
We didn't hang about and set off hopefully towards home. It soon became clear that the journey would be very slow as despite de-icer the windscreen wipers were freezing constantly and making visibility extremely difficult. We had to keep stopping to break the ice off the wipers, stopping becoming a challenge in itself as the roads were so slippery.
The road along the gorge is at least a reasonable width, and it was looking spectacular with frozen waterfalls and gigantic icicles hanging from the cliffs, but once past St Antonin Noble Val the road towards Caylus is much narrower and very bendy with deep ditches on each side of the road. We negotiated it slowly, all the time aware that this was nothing to the difficulties we had to come! Caylus nestles on the side of a hill in the valley with steep hairpin bends in and out of it - we live on the hills at the top of one said steep hill! We approached Caylus from the south up gentle hills and at our junction we could see the chaos at the foot of the hairpin bends so we took a quick decision to stay as high as we could and continued across country where the road rises but quite gently and is at least straightish. As we drove through Lacapelle we started to feel a little more secure - we have friends there so if we had to give up there was at least shelter.
A little further and we were at St Projet ( the next village to ours ) now we were within our walking distance if all else failed! The hill into St Projet didn't seem like much but it was also on a sharp bend and after several failed attempts we had to give up and drive onwards , once more out into the country. Having walked a lot around the area we knew if we carried onwards we would be able to avoid any steep hills but we were actually now driving further away from home. Eventually we had gone far enough to be able to approach home from the north gently downhill and slid gingerly through the gates of Segala -and there we stayed most of the week.
At least we have had plenty of logs to keep us warm in between unfreezing the water pipes - but that's another story!