Sunday 5 November 2017

Living in the Diois

We live in the Diois  -  la France Profonde.  Sometimes it's frustrating to live in 
an area so thinly populated and hence so far from many of the services and
luxuries that town dwellers take for granted.  Little choice for entertainment,
particularly eating out, limited medical facilities and few live cultural events.
But then, both as a discipline and as a pleasure, we justify one of our original reasons
for coming here by walking with a group of Châtillonais, (members of the
Association Fleurs & Fontaines), every Wednesday afternoon.
The walks have the multiple functions of reminding us that we live in some of the world's  most magnificent walking country, largely unspoiled, unpolluted and almost empty, that our
intentions to take regular long walks are too often thwarted by other commitments, but that, on Wednesday afternoon we must drop everything and go.  Last but not least the group's real purpose is to take secateurs and shears to keep the walking paths open.  The
benefits are obvious and help us to keep fit in body and soul.

In the past we have always preferred to walk on our own and we still do when we are looking for new subjects for our prints.  But the group is not merely a discipline but a
very agreeable one.  We learn a lot from the local people who know these mountains and
their history and know and can identify the plants and explain the geology and much more.
It's enriching and amusing and does a great deal to help us with the French language. 

The Diois is in the Drôme near to the border with the Isère Département.  It is an
administrative district surrounding the town of Die. Châtillon-en-Diois, where we live, is about 15 Km further into the unknown at the foot of the majestic cliffs of Glandasse
which is the southern tip of the Vercors Pleateau.  The climate is not quite Provençal but
very nearly.  We have plenty of sunshine all the year round with hot summers and sometimes quite cold winters, plenty of snow and plenty of seasonal variation.  The
wild life is fabulous and around the village we see wild boar, deer, foxes, badgers, three
species of vulture, eagles and other raptors, herons, snakes, gorgeous lizards, enormous toads and even wolves.  The list is endless.
Here are just a few glimpses of the country we walk in and the people we walk with.  They
are all very fit and keep us on our toes.

Serge Baude.  Our 'Chef'

The sun doesn't always shine

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