Unfortunately during the first three days the weather was ugly, very ugly. We had a lot of rain and down to the bottom of the valley they had also some flooding problems. Fortunately the next days were much better, even if we couldn't completely enjoy the excursions we had planned, both because the hiking paths were full of mud, and because the ugly weather caused little landslides that made it dangerous if not impossible to pass by on the paths. Moreover we were a little ingenuously unprepared to all of that snow (it can be for the microclimate of the lake if in our area, at the same altitude, snow is pretty much all melted).
Anyway we were able to do at least some hikes.
The first one is named "Tumpi la pisso", which in the local dialect i think it means something like "little waterfall in the pond". The path starts at the village Rore, in Varaita valley. Parking the car we missed the first deviation, although it was well indicated by a wooden sign, and we followed the white and red marks, on a skinny road, till we understood we were on the wrong one. Backtracking on our own steps we finally entered the right path, on the side of the brook, but here we couldn't go very far because one of the fords on the stream was impassable at all for the heavy rain of the past days.
Attention! This path is populated by "savarnots", troublemaking elfs of the Occitan mythology. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to meet a real one: Maddie and Mr. Bentley had to be content to bark only towards one of the puppets that can be met along the path, settled by the local cultural association.
in red the first part on the asphalted road, in green the right (correct) path, unfortunately cut short. A: parking lot.
Round trip on the first part:
Round trip on the second part:
Another nice excursion was the one on mount Bracco. Parked the car on the road next to a convent and an inn, we started to walk entering the woods. Often the water flowed on the path itself making it difficult to walk because of the mud. Every now and then there were some buildings made out of stones that had been used for agricultural purposes. Fortunately we were next to one of them when all of the sudden we were surprised by a hailstorm, and we could use it as a shelter. Nothing terrible, but concerned that the situation could become worse we preferred to go back. Needless to say that the dogs were excited for the unusual weather conditions.
The entire tour of mount Bracco doesn't look very difficult, if the weather is reasonable. It is anyway kind of long: it asks several hours hiking.
Backward (on the same path):
The last excursion of this holiday was the one at Torrette towards Tenou. We parked the car on the side of a secondary road, right where there is the start point of the path.
To tell the truth we had been warned, in the beginning of the hike, by a really gentle old man who we asked for directions. After warning us to use caution, he signaled us a detour from the main path, right next to a votive small chapel in the beginning of the meadow, that would have allowed us to pass the interruption.
Anyway the sight of some roe deer grazing was enough reward for the effort of the climb, and so, after a stop to eat a slice of pizza and a sip of water, we decided to go back to the bottom of the valley, giving back the "landlords" their peace. Unfortunately, infact, we were not able to pass by unseen, despite our attempts not to make too much noise and to convince the dogs that we were already settled for dinner, and so there was no need to exercise their hunting instinct.
Outward (including the roe deers meadow tour):
We lodged at Bed and Breakfast Il Bosco delle Terrecotte, at Barge, a restructured farmhouse in the peace atmosphere of the vineyards.
Statistics of all the excursions during year 2009:
Total time: 11 hours and 44 minutes
Distance: 34.73km [21.58mi]
Difference of level: 2286m [7500']
Minimum altitude: 715m [2346']
Maximum altitude: 1550m [5085']