Friday, December 4, 2009
Meeting Some Resistance
I have not been for a walk in the past 7 days. This has been due to two factors. The first is that almost every day since then has been spent at one hospital or doctor, either for my eyes or Gay’s back.
The other is the weather. It is 3 degrees outside and lashing down with rain. A couple of hundred metres above us it is falling as snow. This is of benefit to some – 23 ski stations in the Pyrenees are opening this weekend because of the received bounty from the sky.
Of course they are also higher than we are. One of my walks last week with my baby brother started up on the Plateau de Sault, where some of the ski stations are situated. On our way back from a shopping trip to Andorra, Gay dropped Septimus Willem and myself at Espezel for a 20 kms walk home.
We deliberately diverted to the site of the Maquis du Picaussel. Here 400 members of the French Resistance camped out during the German occupation of World War II. They were supplied with weapons and sustenance by the RAF. From that height (over 1000 metres) they (the resistance, not the RAF) could see if the Wehrmacht made a move in their direction and this kept them safe throughout the war.
The Wehrmacht were not too pleased about this, so, at the last moment, as the Allies advanced and the Germans were in retreat, they decided to teach the Maquis a lesson. It was too much trouble to try to find them on the plateau (why did they not bomb them?) so they destroyed the town of Lescale a few hundred metres below.
Our walk took us via the memorial building at the Maquis camp, on a scramble downhill to Lescale, then on quiet roads back to Puivert.