We have been enjoying our first few days of “freedom” here in France. However, our ability to get out and about hasn’t resembled life prior to the appearance of Covid-19. For good and for bad…
At ground level, many people are wearing masks. It is not obligatory all of the time, but in civic buildings, many shops, doctors, dentists and offices. And this is strange. Previously there has literally been no-one around on my quick dashes out for essentials. Now I’m battling to get used to seeing people everywhere – but wearing masks. In all honesty, for the moment, paying for bread at the bakery (with their new cash free system) or queueing at the post office feels more alien than ever.
However, it feels wonderful to pop over to see a friend (58 days without seeing a close neighbour is a really long time) and have a good natter - albeit 2m apart and very aware of the invisible "bubble" people are now surrounded by in order that social distancing works.
And we have used the car! In fact, we had to fill it with petrol for the first time in nearly 3 months!! And not only that we ALL got in the car at the same time – not just me, off to get the shopping. We didn’t go far. Although we could have visited one of the wonderful towns close to us (up to 100km), there was no need - and there is definitely a welcome caution these day about venturing out for the sake of it. Besides there is WAY TOO MUCH FUN to be had now right here on our doorstep!
We can now freely walk the mountain paths, bike the trails and visit the lakes and waterfalls close to home – together. We are allowed to have groups of up to 10 people, but so far we have been sticking together as a family unit as this already makes 5!
I honestly don’t think words can convey how wonderful these mountains are right now. The anticipation has been great, but the reality has been so much better!
Everything is so wild! The trails by and large haven’t been worn by walkers and bikers since last year! The flowers have taken over the meadows and the animals have taken over the mountains. I have never seen such a vast array of wildlife, seeming unconcerned about our presence.
Everywhere you look is a vivid array of colour and contrast. It has been colder these last couple of weeks and we have finally had some rain, so in the lower foothills of the mountains everything is green and luscious and high up there is fresh snow!!
I wish I could convey how excited I am even as I write….Excited to explore everything we know and love, and to find the new, un-explored wilderness that is waiting for me. I simply cannot wait to go out again and again to witness these changes on the mountains and in the valley – all of which are for the better. Nature truly is wonderous and I am so very thankful we can now explore the wonder of the Mont Blanc valley once again.