Gorges d’Heric, Roast Spuds and Beatles

We’re in the same spot as yesterday, a free aire (until 1 May, then it’s €5 a night, phew) in Mons.

The weather is: sunny, no it’s raining, no it’s overcast, no, it’s sunny and raining. It’s been one of those days you don’t know what to wear. We saw some guys in full mountaineering get ready to head up the gorge this morning though, so we knew it wouldn’t be too bad.

Last night, I cooked up some roast spuds and lamb, in garlic oil, and accompanied by butter-sautéed mushrooms. This perhaps explains why we’re not stick thin, we are eating very well in France!

Last night’s tea. I love our oven.

It rained most of last night, drumming on Dave’s roof and waking us up from time to time. Apart from that, it was silent up here. No sight or sound of the wild board which we read roam the woods further up the gorge. When I say silent, what I actually mean is ‘it would be quiet but for Charlie’s monumental snoring’. He decided it was time to eat some grass at 8am, so we didn’t lie in today (for those of you with young children, or who are actually working for a living, I apologise for that last statement).

After I’d tip-toed into the river and back out again, breaking the record for the world’s fastest bath, we munched on some filthy cheap pain-au-chocolat and tarte aux pommes and headed up the gorge. We opted for the easy way up, following the car-width winding road.

5km of tiny road, all to get to 3 houses at the top. We don’t know who built it, but if you’re reading, thanks!

Others had different ideas, with some French nippers being helped into the climbing harnesses and straight up a rock wall to our left as we passed. As we walked I remarked I’d never said so many ‘bonjours’; people are very friendly up here. One chap pulled on his waders outside Dave and has splashed his way half way up the gorge by the time we caught him up:

We spotted no fish, but they’re clearly in there somewhere.

We took our time walking up the path, and for most of the time were on our own, surrounded by towering walls of shattered rock. Many of the trees had accepted ‘mission impossible’ to live and grow in solid rock, with their roots protruding from cracks they’d stubbornly forced their way into. When we finally got to the top, we found we weren’t actually at the top. The road turned into Grande Randonne number 7 (GR7) and went on for another 3km up to the col. We declined to yomp any further.

5km of death road brings you to the hamlet of Heric. Rough Guides tells us it’s been owned by the same family for generations. Clearly they don’t drink drive.
Retired Renault Resting at Heric

On our way back down, we played some poo sticks in the raging river. Neither of us won. The river kept grabbing our sticks and sweeping them into side eddies, wedging them under rocks or tangling them up with piles of twigs. Is it possible to fail at poo sticks? Yes, we proved it, and we’re not proud. We also spotted this here beatle on the path. A car came as we were looking at him, fortunately for the car it didn’t hit him, he was nature’s answer to the tyre.

What you lookin’ at?

Back at Dave, the weather’s stayed the same: changeable. I wrote an article on all the things that have gone wrong with Dave, and which we’ve sorted out. Gave us a good feeling: as long as we are in good health, problems with the van are pretty meaningless and we’re confident can sort them whatever country we’re in.

I’m now chilling with a beer. It’s a Kronenbourg 1664, if you drink it with your eyes closed that is. It’s actually an unbranded Pur Maul Blond Lager, but I can’t tell the difference.

Have a great Friday evening folks. Jay x

P.S. Keep the captions coming, they’d giving us a good laugh!


  1. Hi Guys, Just finished reading your book, excellent and very informative, just one very tiny critisism, i didnt like the way you put the text in columns, it was annoying to have to keep going up and down the pages (sorry), but other than that i really enjoyed it.

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