Est 1983 - ON PRES: Robin Low
|Run 634(warm up)||24 May 2008||Louise (3 star) & John Pitt - FRANCE |
Saint L?onard-des-Bois is in the heart of Les Alpes Mancelles, a national park that encloses an area of Normandie where the fast flowing river Sarthe and its tributaries have carved out steep sided rocky valleys thickly forested with a mixture of trees.
A network of colour coded and numbered footpaths allow walkers and runners to explore the entire region.
The village is set in the bottom of a valley formed by a loop of the Sarthe, and we met there at the usual time in the carpark on a lovely sunny hot day, a total contrast from the Saturday warm-up hash which had taken place a few kilometres south in a complete
John had picked up a virus a few days previously which had caused his eyes to puff up badly, nevertheless he had bravely carried on and with Louise had set what they described as a nice dry flat trail for us.
Also some of the falsies had been laced with a numbered bottle top to be collected. With little ceremony we were off and of course up!.
The trail took us up the steep climb above la Roirie and with only a minor check halfway up we arrived at the top in exhausted dribs and drabs.
The bottle tops were doing magic as hashers were proving unusualy eager to check out trails. Soon we were plunging into the forest on the north side of the D146 and heading east.
Panda was going like a train, and managed to spot a falsie that was part of a check on the return trail... no matter... she snapped up the bottle top like a piranha ha ha..
Emerging at a check further along the road we needed a little help to find the trail which headed back west, although at the time I had no idea where we were. Mr Pastry was whingeing about not finding any bottle tops as we eventually reached the edge of le
Haut Fourch? right above St L?onard.
What a view!..horizontally only a few hundred yards from the chariots.. but vertically hundreds of feet away.
After a long session of snapping we headed south along the edge to a check in a large clearing. Here we took a long time to find the trail down via la doussi?re, leaving Mr Pastry at the top franticaly looking for a bottle top.
A check near the bottom saw the trail avoid the obvious route back through the village and took us along a narrow rocky path on the riverbank. I think somewhere along here Frances developed some nasty gashes on her already insect bitten legs.
Up by the side of the bridge and we were On-In.
A big big round of applause for the Hares was followed by a load of nominations, including local ex-pat Leslie for overfeeding us at a barbecue the night before, and eventually being awarded to Frances ...sorry cant remember why ?.
Then the bottle tops were swapped for prizes generously provided by Leslie, Louise and John, presented to Mr Pastry (yeah! dried sausage), Old Faithful, Hash Flash, Panda and Dr Blood.
Then we walked over to Stephane's Cafe for lunch where the cider is served in tea cups.