The World in 360°

I went out for a 10 mile run this morning in beautiful weather – not too hot, and the ferocious storms that have been battering the southeast of France for the past few days had finally cleared.

I took a couple of 360° panoramas using Photosynth on my iPhone. I’ve usually had questionable results with it but they weren’t too bad today – probably because it was warm enough to stand around for long enough to check that I’d captured the whole image.

Mougious Waterfall

And here’s how the waterfall looks in 2D.

Mougious Waterfall

The Mougious waterfall in the La Jarjatte Valley

Ravin du Fleyrard

Just across the river on the other bank from the waterfall.

Here’s the run data from Strava.

Combe Obscure Loop

I was spared dog-walking duties on Saturday morning so took the opportunity to go for a longer and more adventurous run than usual. Starting off down the valley through the forests as far as the Mougious waterfall (below). Rather than turning around though, I took the steep ascent (300m in about 15 minutes) up the left hand side.
Cascade de Mougious

It was a lung-busting climb to the top, as the path is pretty steep (a good 45º) but getting to the top is worth it. There is a sheep pasture up there, although being north facing there is still too little grass for it to be used. The shepherd’s old caravan and patio set was still up there though, but looks like it had had a tough winter.

The pasture at the top of the Mougious
Looking back down into the valley from the top of the waterfall.

From here, the trail followed one of the logging tracks into the trees, and traverses the forest-covered mountainside. The terrain is quite tough, boggy and rocky.

The logging road heading into the trees
After a few hundred metres, the trail turns off the road and gets onto proper forest single track. When I’d done this route in the past, I’d missed this turning and ended up descending into a gully and picking my way through rocks all the way down to the river.
The trail soon starts to get better
Perfect trail running conditions

This was where the running started to get really good – basically several KMs of forest single track traversing the mountainside, with occasional views into the valley. After I while I neared the top of the of the local ski pistes – and managed to get spooked by some pretty weird animal noises – I’m thinking it may have been the local wild boar.

Exiting the forest at the top of the ski piste – pretty much downhill from here.

Here’s the GPS data from Garmin.

Running with a Dog

On Tuesday, we travelled over to Valence in the Rhône Valley and took ownership of a 12 month old Border Collie called Eric. His previous owner, an 84 year old man had recently died and he was being fostered. We’ve been on the lookout for a Border Collie for some time, checking on the puppies available on noticeboards at the vet, but Eric came through a friend of a friend and so we took the plunge.

Eric – ready for a run?

One of the attractions for me of a Border Collie was to have a dog that can come out into the mountains, and run for long periods over rough terrain, or hike all day. However, coming with a years worth of ‘baggage’, he’s got a lot to (un)learn so we’re keeping him on a leash for now.

I took him out yesterday for his first proper run. I did a short run up to the Mougious waterfall which he took in his stride. A couple of hundred metres shy of the waterfall, a deer shot out of the forest and across our path – Eric went crazy and tried to bolt after him, which pretty much vindicated my decision to keep him leashed.

Post-deer chasing Eric on his way home

The biggest problem I found was running with a short leash. I think the natural driving/herding instinct in a Border Collie means that he weaves from left to right a lot, and running with a short leash means I keep running into the back of him.

As usual, the internet is a helpful place and I’ve been given a lot of advice on running with dogs. I’m ordering a leash that will attach to a belt so I can run hand’s free and have a little more give when he stops or speeds up. I’ll review it on here when I’ve had chance to try it out.