Roadflock Ahead

On an earlier trip up the mountain road to the Bernia basecamp, we’d spotted a rough track through some almond trees that created an avenue of sorts. Being a mountain road it’s narrow, i.e. almost wide enough for two vehicles, with frequent blind hairpin bends so parking safely is tricky. Now that the almond blossom was peaking on some trees, though, Francine was keen to have a go. That is, she was keen to have a go at the almond blossom and keen for me to have a go at parking safely.

On our way up we past a threesome taking pictures of each other in an almond orchard. I’d noticed some folks on our almond blossom walk posing family members in the trees for a photo. Find some attractive blossom, then spoil it by draping an arm casually from a bough. Curious.

We were surprised to note that some almond trees were now coming into leaf and showing a green flush. This constitutes “gone over” in almond blossom photographers’ speak.

Almond Avenue croppedWe did find our avenue again. I managed to find a relatively straight stretch of road to drop Francine off safely with her camera. Furthermore, a little further up I found a track in which I could park the car safely while I wandered back to observe. As I observed, a chap on a mountain bike paused for a rest, a leg-stretch and a natter. His wife was apparently behind on an e-bike. He had a conventional bike using leg power. His wife was behind because she was stopping at every almond tree en route. Eventually he remounted and continued. I suggested he try to find some e-legs.

His wife turned up on her e-bike and, of course, stopped at our avenue for yet more almond blossom pictures. We had another natter. This was about midday. She mentioned going up to do the walk around the Bernia. It would take them at least another 30 minutes to get up to basecamp. A bit late to start the walk, we thought, but it wasn’t our day to watch them. Eventually she spun her electrically assisted pedals and continued.

_19R1282_19R1283The trip back down was much more exciting from my point of view. There are a couple of single track bridges, edged with concrete blocks, on bends with restricted visibility. Traffic priority is noted by suitable road signs. Generally, traffic descending has to give way to traffic coming up the mountain. In our case it was certainly necessary to give way to a flock of about 100+ sheep led by a determined sheepdog and shepherd. I pulled over as far to the side of the road as I could without scraping the car against the rocks and we sat waiting to be flocked. A handful of the sheep still managed to squeeze themselves between our car and the rocks. Happily they all kept their horns to themselves, too.

Posted in 2017-2018 Winter

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