Saturday was spend as usual with waiting for the baker and doing the weekly shopping, which didn't amount to much, because we had plenty left overs from last week. We weren't the only ones, apparently, with little shopping to do, because the shops were very quiet.
Back home I worked on my blog and spent the rest of the time reading, because I am right in the middle of a very good book: The Help. I've seen the movie a while back, and the book is as good if not better. Just as well, because I have one of my sleepless nights which I pass rather pleasantly (if that's possible at all) reading.
Sunday I am up a bit later then usual and Frank sleeps in, since he's had a bad night too. In the afternoon there is a knock on the door and when I open it Mireille and Bernard step across the doorstep. As is the custom in France, we hug and kiss and sit down with a cup of coffee. I am so glad Bernard speaks a bit English, so we are able to keep the conversation going for a long time. By seven (!) Mireille says: "Oh, is it seven already?", but they stay on and it's not until close to eight they leave to go home. They actually came over to invite us for Dessert (?) on New Year's Day. Now, I haven't got a clue what this means or what kind of custom it is, but we'll be there at 4pm on New Year's Day and find out. :-) I'll be baking oliebollen according to Dutch custom and bring them over when we go. No use bringing them down on New Year's Eve, because couples without children go out to dance. That is as much as I have been able to find out about the local custom.
I felt uneasy however on Sunday afternoon, because they stayed so long and I didn't know if they expected anything. After coffee I asked if they want something else to drink, but they declined, it being too late, but then they stayed for another 3 hours.... I hope they hadn't expected dinner, because I am not a good cook at the best of times and I certainly wouldn't have been able to prepare something so unexpectedly. I don't know, perhaps I don't know enough about local customs to know what the right thing is to do....
Monday 31 December
Today we got up fairly early and since I had already prepared a list for more geocaching Frank makes lunch and I get other stuff ready after which we get into the car to find a few more caches. We're really hooked now! :-) However, I have my doubts about this going to be a good day, as preparing the list was wrought with problems and I also had to cut out a few, because they were Etangs (ponds in English) and we didn't want to go to wet areas with all the mud we have already experienced. Two of the caches are classed '3 stars' for difficulty, and we consider ourselves still mere beginners, and two other caches have pictures of them floating in the water, and messages in the logbooks that the logs are even to wet to write something on!!! Anyway, we haven't got much to chose from any more so here we go...
On the way to our first cache south of Roybon we drive through the early morning mist:
The cache is close by and is another chapel: La Chapelle de St Jean le Fromental. We're very lucky here, because the cache must have fallen out of its hiding place and is lying out in the open.
|Frank has discovered a sundial on the back wall of the chapel, |
although it's a bit hard to see because of the shadows thrown by the branches of a nearby tree
The next cache should have been in St Marcellin, but I had made a mistake on the GPS and we ended up at a nearby castle, privately owned and therefore not allowed to be visited. We can only take a picture from far:
|Chateau de Quincivet|
Here we look for the cache in vain. The hint, translated, comes up as touchwood and doesn't make sense to us. We have to walk along the edge of pastures and forest and the forest's edge is lined with bramble bushes. It's wet, it's muddy and it's no fun! We're unsuccessful and leave to go to the place we skipped before.
Later, at home, upon pondering what our problem was I feel the it was in the translation of the word Amadouvier so I try a different way and google it, and hey presto! it comes up with pictures of a type of mushroom that grows in semi-cylindrical shape on trees and dead wood. It so happens that we have seen two of those shapes, but not knowing that they were what we were looking for we sort of ignored them. One of the shapes can actually be seen in the centre of the picture below. It's the white bit sticking out from the tree trunk in the centre. Well, perhaps we may go back and have another look. It all depends, because while I am writing this it's raining again and the ground was already soaked...
So, we've gone on to the next one: La Promenade de Joud at St Marcellin. We're in for a bit of exercise again, because the path up to the promenade is terribly steep. How steep it is can be seen from the stairway going down into a street on the side of the promenade:
|Along the promenade is an animal park with deer, donkeys, goats and a lama|
|A railway viaduct|
|The general area where the cache is supposed to be hidden|
|The trail is marked in red and we are where it says: Vous etes ici|
We forgot to take a picture of the actual hiding place, but it was at the utmost right of the trail
|Frank studying the threatened species information|
|The last and easiest part of the stairs up to the ruins of the castle|
|The Mont Blanc in the centre|