Well, not much anyway. You can’t go walking in that patch of the Aude near la Digne d’Amont and not enjoy looking at those vineyards marching across to the snow-covered Pyrenees one way, and the equally distant (and almost equally snow-covered) Montagne Noir the other.
Today though, let’s not have a travelogue. Let’s look at one or two of the other things that caught our eye on today’s walk, sunny but oh-so-cold. We began walking in temperatures of not much more than minus 5 degrees. There was the ice itself, underfoot. The cold froze the mud and made it good and hard to walk on.
There were the frost-framed leaves mulching the ground.
There was a giggle-worthy notice on an electricity sub-station.
And in the tiny village of Toureilles (population 143), there was a statue to its most famous son. Pierre Bayle (1783-1794) was the youngest soldier ever to die for France. A drummer boy in the Republican Army, he was engaged in the campaign to prevent the Spanish invade Roussillon, and died in battle at Figueres, aged 11.
As we left Toureilles, along a single track road , we came upon a rather fine, wide, but very short stretch of road, with a fine stretch of car park along its length. It led only to a dusty track.If we didn’t know why it was there, neither did the villagers. Here’s what they thought of it.
Back in Digne d’Amont, the municipal notice board had news of an evening’s Bingo (Loto) on – shucks, we’ve missed it – 16th November. Prizes? Two loads of wood for burning, a whole pig (dead, of course) and a hamper of beef as well as other smaller prizes.
And at the end, Gilbert produced a cake for us to eat, formerly much enjoyed locally and which he’d managed to find out about: amazérat, a pastry with a solid bite to it and strongly flavoured with aniseed.