Splendour In The Grass

Are you jealous? You should be! French Pyrenees July 2012

The weather was brilliantly intensely blue today and we drove up 10 kms of vertical winding ascent to the Cirque de Troumouse.
Not a single soul but us in this vast flower strewn plateau ringed by 10 mountain peaks covered in patches of late snow and no noise except the quiet glock glock of cow bells
The Alpha Cows and Sheep wear them apparently as leaders of the herd.  Poor things, I’d rather be a stupid sheep than have to wear one of those infernal things night n day.

The sheep climb up to these high mountain peaks to eat the sweet herbs and grasses. Then, during the Transhumance (in late Summer) the farmers drive them back down the mountains and to the abbatoirs ON FOOT to be slaughtered for their meat which is incredible as it tastes of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.  Literally.

Tomorrow we visit an Old Dude called Denis who milks 350 sheep by hand each day in the mountains and makes the milk into cheese turning it with his own hand in a huge vat on a bunsen-burner type-thing. All on his Pat Malone. His cheese is called Pyrenean Brebis and is to die for!!

The butcher in the village makes the longest saucisson I have ever seen- BY HAND

Another amazing day of breathtaking died-and-gone-to-heaven views – only walked 4.5 hours today. We saw enormous Eagles  and yellow-headed Vultures hovering above us only 25 feet higher in the thermal winds off the mountain peaks.

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