Monday, December 17, 2007

What's in a Name?

View over the Vercors Plateau last week

You have to love the way the French name places and geographical features. While the English have some delightfully eccentric places such as Pratts Bottom, Foul End, Great Snoring and Thong, the French seem to have a much more literal approach. As Bill Richards and I drove around the mountains in south central France last week on our rally recon some of the places we passed through had a wonderfully muscular nomenclature. Col de la Homme Morte, Col de la Machine, Col de La Morte and especially Die all jumped off the map and seemed very appropriate for rallying (maybe just "Feels like you're about to Die" would be preferable). Anyway, the scenery was stunning as it always is in this part of the world although the weather and road conditions were severe (see below). And it's only December; Heaven knows what it will be like in the first week of February when the snowfall peaks. One thing is for sure it won't be a dry run. We'd better get those snow tyres sorted out.

Col L'Eschassarone
The Col L'Echarasson always seems to be like this

White Out
Snow and freezing fog equal white out in the Ardeche

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