fording the journal riverSome suggested areas for walks or short driving excursions are as follows.

Drive and or walk up the road to Ceillac and beyond as far as the melting snow in spring to see the bulbs and alpine snowbells. The same excursion later on in the year will give close access to meadow flowers.

Drive up to the Summit du Bucher , up a forest track above the picturesque Chateau Queyras and walk over to the col du Fromage, with luck in May/June you may find wild tulips amongst the varied flora.

Drive up to Ailefroide and then explore up parallel with the road towards Le Près de Madame Carle here there is a park visitor centre and a café offering refreshments. This is a wonderful valley and I have had problems with my mum and sister, both keen botanists, getting more than a kilometre along the road in a day. There are normally orchids, gentians, Pasque flowers; alpine clematis the list is apparently endless.

Drive up the Fournel , or take a navette, free minibuses that run in the summer, or arrange with me for a lift and then walk down the valley on the other side of the road from the road, as well as Chardon Bleu this valley has fine displays of autumn crocus after the hay is cut, and large stands of asphodels in early summer. There are a number of different habitats here including alpine meadows, damp woodland, and scree slopes. If you wish you can return up the road to the car or you can continue down the valley on a traverse path at La Blachière and explore the sunny scree slopes above the wider Durance valley. This path leads out on to the hillside above our house, even if you are not staying here please feel free to drop in. If the Fournel is enough for one day the scree slopes can be seen on a circular walk from the house that climbs up through the forest and then traverses along the woodland edge before dropping down to La Blachière and returning along the drier slopes as described before.