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Sunday, 13 September 2009

We tumble and fall, together we crawl

We are often surprised by the relaxed attitude continental Europeans have to health and safety. Everywhere we have seen road workers working in precarious stretches of road above ravines and in gorges, controlling traffic with a green and red lollipop and not a hard hat in sight.

At the campsite in Guillestre we have been entertained by the tree pruning. This is carried out by a family member who props a ladder against a tall pine and clambers up the ladder and high up into the crown, using the base of previously pruned branches as foot holds; he holds on with one hand, in the other he dangles a large saw. At a lofty height he then saws through branches which fall on to the campsite among the caravans and tents.

The spectacular Guil Gorge, shown in the photograph, is popular with climbers, including the local Gendarmerie; we passed the squad car in the carpark and found them roping up as we followed the occasionally exciting narrow climbers path along the gorge.

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