Blogs

January-March 2017

As often happens, high winds and some heavy rain started the year. A proposed Winter Walk and lunch with a walking group was cancelled in January because of 120km/h winds, but it finally took place in much calmer weather in February with 14 walkers, and over 20 sitting down to lunch after drinks in the February sunshine.

September-December 2016

A continual problem over the last few years has been the number of walkers calling at the refuge who simply have no idea where they are or where they have left their car! They have no map, and seem content to walk in the mountains in the hope that they will find their way. This problem has been much reduced this year as the local communes have put a good deal of effort into providing signposts at important junctions to indicate directions and the walking time.

May-August 2016

Refuge Madeloc is more widely known now, and increasingly there are groups of 6-10 walkers , bikers, and nature lovers rather than smaller groups of 2 or 3. We make the decision to focus more on larger groups. If we book the house for a couple for the weekend we lose a potential booking for 8 for a week. This change also makes our life a little more predictable and we do fewer meals as well, although the arrival of a group booking half board for 4 days keeps us busy. Visitors include another motorcycle group, who arrive at the Refuge from all over France.

January-March 2016

The New Year is seen in on Collioure beach, in fancy dress, with champagne, oysters and fireworks. With the house closed up, there is a chance to enjoy other events in the area, a visit to the olive oil festival in nearby Espolla (photo 1 human pyramid) and later on a holiday! (there has not been much time to do this in recent years) in Soller on the Spanish island of Mallorca (photo2). Soller has links with this area as for centuries sailing boats brought oranges and lemons to Port Vendres from Soller –the reason why Port Vendres is still France’s main fruit importing port.

October - December 2015

October was uncharacteristically cooler, though walking is easier when it is not too hot. The groups of walkers were joined by a group of BMW motorbike owners on a tour of the Pyrennees. We took a short break to go boating on the canals. At Banyuls the annual Fete de Vendange to celebrate the wine harvest takes place in early October, and in Port Vendres there was a festival of traditional boats, with, as always, a firework display.

May - September 2015

It’s a busy season with more groups using the refuge, mainly walking groups, either self catering or taking meals with us at the refuge, but also mountain bikers, nature lovers and just groups of friends looking for a few days of quiet relaxation. David developed his culinary skills and also took a further course to qualify as a walking guide. The refuge is increasingly popular, with many of our visitors having either visited before or passed by on a walking break. We develop our connections with children’s homes too, and groups of other young people.

February - April 2015

The usual mixture of spring weather – many lovely days with spectacular flowers, migrating birds (including an impressive passage of cranes in March) and butterflies, but also some heavy rain and strong winds (a lorry was blown onto its side on the road below the house). Once again we are thankful that the house is well sheltered from the prevailing winds, the tramontane. Our first visitors of the year included a group of local Chambres d’hôtes owners who walk from one house to the other in the close season. We shall be joining them on next year’s walk.

November/December 2014/January 2015

For the second year running the good weather holds until the middle of November, and groups of walkers continue until the 15th. The picture here shows me walking in shorts and T shirt on the 7th November. Following this the temperature dropped sharply, and we had the first of two periods of intense rain. In Collioure cars were washed out to sea, and there was flooding in Argeles-sur Mer.

September/October 2014

Once September arrives we are back to chambre d’hotes and serving meals to walkers. Bookings continue to be made – but we suffer some cancellations too, for illness, a death in the family , flooding in Nimes closing the motorway. A group of kayakers stay for several days – an incongruous sight to see a trailer of kayaks on the coll. October finishes with our daughter Katy taking the refuge to celebrate her husband’s birthday with a group of friends, and two groups of young people doing their Gold Award expeditions.

June/July/August 2014

Refuge Madeloc is closed for most of June for David’s operation. Linda helps to organize an art exhibition, having taken up painting more seriously. To her surprise she sells two paintings. After a month David is back on his feet and the Summer season is under way. July is a mix of chambre d’hôte and weekly lets. A Finnish family faces problems when the 4X4 they have reserved is replaced by the hire company by a classy Mercedes which struggles with ground clearance. We host a barbecue for Vermeille Internationale, an Association for the local international community.

Syndicate content