Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Les Gorges de la Diosaz, Servoz

Mini adventures totally rock around here. There's all sorts of things to do for an afternoon's mooching around and Abi and I took the opportunity to delve off into the nooks and cracks of the valley the other day to explore the Gorges de la Diosaz - a narrow, steep fissure in the rocky cliffs around Servoz.

Wooden pathways have been built onto the sheer walls to gain access to the upper reaches of the gorge meaning a really interesting walk and the whole place is a heritage site due to really old shale mines dug into some of the cliffs. It's something that takes a couple of hours and looks really interesting, outdoorsy and generally a bit of a giggle so off we trotted.

It gets more interesting the more you walk up the gorge. Down at the bottom (I guess because we live in the valley and see small gorges on a daily basis) it wasn't manically interesting - a path through a forest. As we went on though, we started to climb onto the walkways and ascend up gaining altitude and it became more and more beautiful, really eye catching with sheer rock faces rising up on each side and the gorge crack getting narrower.

Walking up the Gorges de la Diosaz

The walkways were classically French - not exactly high spec with much wobbling of hand rails and generally giving off a "rustic" air. It did give it a real charm though. One of the bridges was made by a guy called Louis Lachenal a local total hero who was the first man (along with Maurice Herzog) to climb an 8000m mountain (Annapurna in case you were wondering). It was a small suspension bridge, the cables for the suspension being the old ones from the Brevent cable car. Very cool.

Tinks on the bridge - straight out of Jurassic Park

The whole place had this air of peace and tranquility about it, there were plenty of little signs telling you which rock pools were called what and pointing out the old mine workings. Of course I made sure to read each and every one of these signs and try and digest the information, Tinks was more enamoured with the romantic setting of it all methinks. And it was too. Like a mini Jurassic Park, mildly claustrophobic at times, and both of us looking at the sheer walls for cracks and weaknesses that could be a potential climbing route!

Amazing rock pools

Wicked waterfalls cutting down through the rock

All the way through there were staggering views both looking up and down the gorge, it was really beautiful and I'd thoroughly recommend anyone going there for a couple of hours peace and adventuring.

Rickety looking walkways, pretty though. Lachenal's suspension bridge crossing the gorge.