September 15, 2016

July 27th, 2016 - Puy de Dôme

For my first two months in France, I only had French classes and workshops, starts from 08.45 am to 03.30 pm and we had a lot free time after school. Luckily, our language centre/alliance francaise already organized several activities each day - you might have castle excursions, city visits, games and sport stuff too. I swear, I couldn't help myself to join those activities, but they aren't free - we have to pay fees that include the transportation and entrance tickets - but if you come with scholarship, you'll get some excursions coupons, thus you can choose activities that you want to go for free.

One of my favourite and most unforgettable activities that I'd subscribed to was hiking at Puy de Dôme, the highest lava dome from where you can see all of Chaîne de Puys - chains of lava domes, volcanic mountains.

We went there straight after our atelier, there were two buses from cavilam and there was only 5 of us Malaysians who joined it. Frankly speaking, before arriving there, I was imagining that the hiking session wouldn't be so difficult like hiking Broga Hill in Malaysia but heck no, it was hard. The path is inclined and flat lands last only for 5 - 10 metres.

Took this on our way there, from the bus
I teamed up with Alanna and a Colombian girl cum my workshop mate, Juliana during the hiking, we weren't mentally and physically prepared for it, so we stopped at almost every single checkpoint we found - I remember that Alanna and I kept on asking, 'Still far?' and we were totally out of breath right after 10 mins hiking. No stamina at all, all of them were dedicated for food processing hahaha I ate a lot well, since there's so many good food to try :P

Start the climb!

View from the first stop
To arrive the peak of the Puy de Dôme, it usually takes about 45 mins *according to the guide*, well well well, we took approximately 55-60 mins to arrive. We were slowed down by the view! How can you resist taking photos or appreciating the magnificent paysage - they're incredible beautiful. Like at different height and side of the mountain, you'll see different side of Auvergne. The boys had good time taking photos as they were like climbing here and there and it was a bit dangerous, so we didn't want to take any risk lol.

If you can see clearly, at the edge of the cliff - my friends were there taking photos

Once we'd arrived at the peak, whoa I was so so relieved and feeling like a champion, aha! I mean like when I turned around, mannn did I just climbed all the path just to get here? I can't believe myself - I finally did it! So we took a little break, we bought waffles and drinks and just enjoyed the view. There were people doing paragliding - I was this close to join it but unfortunately, I didn't have enough cash with me, so maybe next time yeah?

Made itt!

It's a reservoir back there, and a kiosk

The view from the viewing deck

We walked over the gate of no entry to this path, well YOLO!

After an hour of break at the peak, we started going down as we needed to be back at cavilam at 08.30pm. Going down was much more fun than going up and it is more dangerous as well - thank god we weren't injured at all  during the hiking session.

On our way back, we sat at the back of the bus with a spanish group and they were like singing randomly to Spanish songs and there was one of them suggesting that we picked a song that everyone can sing - we started off with I'm Yours and Thousand Miles. We made Alanna sing and we did a malay song for the spanish. It was a nice time, after a tiring activity, you can still enjoy yourself!

This is actually not my first time hiking in France, it's my second as I was at Grenoble a week before, and we went to La Sassenage, it was tiring as well but not so difficult like climbing Puy de Dôme. Anyhow, it was worth it.

p/s: totally missing the nature! Mountains are nowhere to be found in the city :(