Two more hikes in Vence - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

November 26, 2022 to November 27, 2022

Two more hikes in Vence

While Scott took a break, I took 2 very different hikes.

Plan des Noves Hike

Although, I didn’t take many pictures, this was another great hike with great views.

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Looking down to the Mediterranean.
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Col de Loubiere Hike

This hike was full of surprises but mostly not good surprises.  After I reached the high point I started going down.  After descending part of the  way I ran into some hunters in bright Orange vests.  I asked if it was okay to precede and they waved me on.  This happened a couple of more times with them indicating I should proceed.  FYI, there was no shooting happening.  Finally, when I got to a turn, the hunter pointing me to the opposite direction I had marked.   Not good but at least I can re-route with my Garmin.  As I proceeded on the trail I ran into a couple coming towards me.  They told me that there was a wild Boar hunt today!  I was very glad I was now moving away from it.  I do regret I didn’t take any photos but I thought I should get as far away as I could before the shooting started!  As I was moving away from the hunt several smaller dogs with bells around their necks would check me out but when they realized I wasn’t a wild boar they headed back toward the hunt.  Below is a part of an article talking about hunting wild boar copied from the following link: https://anglophone-direct.com/the-boar-wars/.

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The Boar War

The wild boar (sanglier) hunts that have turned many a peaceful Sunday walk into a nightmare for innocent ramblers are called ‘battues’, so named to describe the beating of woods and bushes to force the game to flee in the direction of waiting hunters who encircle the area. The battue is potentially dangerous! A male boar can weigh in at 150 kilos and have fearsome tusks.

According to the French National Office of Hunting and Wildlife,  the wild boar population in France is well over a million. Many believe that hunters play an important ecological role in the maintenance and balance of the countryside by keeping down a wild boar population which is responsible for increasing damage to crops and our environment. More efficient fencing and intensive harvesting have been tried, but, so far, only hunting seems to provide effective damage control.

The hunting season is often extended by a month or more, to generate money from the hunting permits, to be given to the farmers to improve their fencing and limit the rampaging boar activity.

The word sanglier comes from the latin ‘singularis’, meaning singular, in the sense of unique and solitary. Whilst these large and powerful beasts are capable of causing a great deal of harm with their tusks, kept sharp for fighting off other males during the breeding season, the males are usually shy and solitary animals, and attacks on humans are rare unless cornered, frightened and defending themselves or their young. On the other hand, they are increasingly known to head for populated areas, rummage  through rubbish bins, dig up lawns and even drink from swimming pools!

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Gregory GarceauI like pigs of all kinds. Javalinas are one of the coolest things in the deserts of the southwest. Pink pigs are one of the coolest Iowa farm animals. But I've heard those wild boars destroy everything in their path.
Thanks, Rocky, for your videos and hiking reports. You deserve just as much credit for this journal as that other guy who does most of the writing and photography.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Gregory GarceauThanks, you made my day!
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2 months ago

But don’t panic. Boar are actually omnivorous, living mainly on berries, fruit, fungi, roots…. with acorns being a favourite treat, and whilst they will also root about in the soil for worms and insects, they have no yearning for the bitter flesh of angry little hunters!

Of course, if you’re not keen on the killing, but like the idea of fun with a gun, why not have a go at the rather painful sounding ’ball trap’, (clay pigeon shooting) a sport which involves no blood, guts, pain and misery for anyone other than the bad shooter.

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After getting away from the hunting area, I used the Garmin to get back to the mapped route while avoiding the area with the hunt.  I ended up on some very steep and narrow trails and had a couple of different groups of mountain bikers pass me but fortunately I have very good hearing and could get out of the way.  A memorable hike but definitely not my favorite!

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Below are the original route and the modified route.  The modified route doesn’t show unpaved road but there was about as much as the original route.

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Keith AdamsWe were surprised, 20 years or so ago, to see boar included on a wildlife crossing sign in France. I suppose, though, that especially up in the mountains where there's less human development and correspondingly more habitat, it makes sense that they'd survive and flourish.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyWhew! Glad you didn't encounter any shooting or running male boars!
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Jen GrumbyMe, too!
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2 months ago
Susan CarpenterWild boars, hunting men and dogs, and mountain bikers! Not a recipe for a relaxing hike - glad you returned safely.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonYou’re right about that! I’m so glad I had my Garmin so I could re-route.
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1 month ago
Suzanne GibsonWhat a boaring hike!
Well, I guess someone had to make that pun.
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1 month ago