may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
A damp walk around La Perrause, 28 December 2013
As we're getting sorted out at the little carpark on the Marchairuz/Vallée de Joux road, a distinguished gentleman, a lawyer, judge, or surgeon perhaps, dons his helmet, boots, and huge kite-pack, hoists his snowboard and harness, and plods briskly off ahead of us into the drizzly rain.
The farm at Pré de Bière (1345m) alongside what will soon, when the weather brightens, become a popular cross-country ski track.
Pré de Bière. The top of Grand Cunay is on the right horizon.
Our hiking companion stands in the rain and surveys the shelter of which he will not avail himself.
Dr Pirri trudges past the overhanging eaves and heads off in the drizzly rain for the hill ahead.
The Parc Jura vaudois, or 'Regional Vaudois Jura Nature Park', extends from La Dôle northeastwards to the abbey/village of Romainmôtier, and here (and elsewhere) you can purchase some produits du terroir as you hike along (in season).
The other side of the farm
Our distinguished kite-boarder has already got himself fitted out and flown down off the ridge to the flats below.
It's a wild and unpredictable wind but he's zipping right along.
Ploop! But he was hauled right up again in seconds.
Our companion pauses to wish that he had a kite like that.
Processing down off the first hill
The rain begins again in earnest . . .
. . . in fact, it's not entirely rain anymore.
More animal tracks (presumably a wild boar)
Our glasses are fogging up now (we hope the camera will not do likewise).
Our guide persists with confidence.
Crossing animal tracks
Still persisting with confidence, but with a little less confidence
In fact, lost
In the absence of a map, we'll rely upon memory. Always a bad idea.
We're starting towards home, we hope.
A landmark: the farm of La Perrause
Trusting to his formidable homing instincts, our guide picks a direction at random.
Wait up! Such enthusiasm.
It would be a good time to see another landmark.
Our glasses are fogging up again. Let's hope the camera doesn't do likewise.
We'd lost sight of Dr Pirri for a while and stood idly with confidence, and there he is.
Oooof. Handkerchiefs are now too wet to wipe the lens clear.
And it's getting worse.
Like this. (That's Dr Pirri there, he looks like a sea slug.)
We're squinting ahead for signs of the farm of Pré de Bière. Nothing yet.
And observing, or following, Dr Pirri, there is a gelatinous ghost of winter.
Or perhaps leading Dr Pirri back to the car
A burst of energy at the last
We're preceded to the car by a gelatinous ghost.
Thankfully, our driver has already put his winter snowtires on the car; in fact, he forgot to take them off last summer.
And we're off.