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Monday, 16 November 2020

Last outing before French lockdown - La Clape

* My op was postponed and I'll tell you why at the end of this post....

I've already mentioned a place called La Clape several times, and it occurred to me I should be showing you where we have been on our outings so I did a screen shot from my ipad. La Clape is the raised area mostly within the green area. It is a part of the Parc naturel régional de la Narbonnaise en Méditerranée. That's a Regional Natural Park to you and me.



Ignore the blue markers - those I've put in to mark parking areas for walks. I usually look on Google maps' satellite view to check out where to park before going somewhere, particularly if we are going out in the Moho, like we did the day before lockdown. I think it was Halloween but it seems so long ago! Funnily enough we had decided to go out on that day as the weather was forecast to be good, then we heard about the impending lockdown and thought, we've absolutely gotta go out before it's too late! The Moho needs a spin at least once every three months so a picnic up in the garrigue above the Mediterranean seemed like a wonderful idea. We had driven across La Clape with my brother and sister in law a week or two before and I'd looked around for parking spots along the way, seeing one in particular that looked bigger than others and had a few mohos parked in it, so that is where we headed. 

The previous time I had seen big birds that I think were vultures soaring about on the thermals in front of the cliff face but sadly on this day there was not a vulture, or indeed a bird of prey, in sight. In fact I don't think there were any birds 😀 but there are always things of interest in the garrigue, like the plants and flowers, not to mention of course, the views!

This won't be a long post in terms of text but I have plenty of photos, so here goes....


Looking towards the cliffs where I had hoped there might be vultures.





Another view from the lookout spot by the parking looking towards the beach and small lagoons.



The garrigue is covered in low bushes in windswept coastal places like this, including this Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera).



However this slightly larger bush-like oak looks different, with downy leaves, which are less prickly, so I'm not sure of ID.



There were also Juniper bushes everywhere.



Keith in the garrigue. The grey leaved plants in the foreground are Cistus (Rock Rose), which I'm looking forward to seeing flower in the spring. You can also see rosemary which was everywhere, in flower, plus low down there was plenty of thyme. All typical garrigue plants which are used to baking sun and little water.


A (sad) sign of the times. 



A lovely little Cranesbill Geranium.



There is an Air Force radar installation here up on top of the cliff. There are many more buildings than you can see from below (I know from Google satellite view!).




Looking towards Spain and the Pyrenees - the highest peak is Mt Canigou, which is in the Pyrenees Orientales department, but can be seen from as far away as the hill behind my house.


Looking in the direction of Spain to the tail end of the Pyrenees.





I'm not entirely sure but think the mountains in the background are les Alberes, which are the tail end of the Pyrenees, and the salines are at Gruissan.



The lagoon above is where my brother and sister in law spent their first night (free) after leaving us! Not a bad spot and they practically had the beach beyond to themselves as well. 







If you click on this picture to view it larger, you may be able to see a dark blob above my head, just below the grey cloud. It's a dragonfly!



* My op is now scheduled for 3rd December, because my Covid test results didn't arrive back in time 😒😷😩. I was told to go to a lab two days before by the hospital but that obviously wasn't long enough (sigh), so next time it will be three days beforehand. Also, I hadn't been sent a text to tell me what time to go in the following day (despite trying to get in touch the afternoon before and being told that texts went out the evening before). I was phoned by the hospital at 8.45am and told they had been expecting me at 7am!!! I was getting ready and we were going to call at 9am when the surgeon's office said it opened. Apparently they had a temp secretary working there who hadn't been told about sending out texts... hey ho, these things happen! Next time is also a 7am slot, ugh that means leaving here about 6.20am, in the dark in winter... double ugh. But it should be worth it in the end, fingers crossed. Thanks to everyone who commented and sent me messages regarding this subject, much love xx

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