So with the success of having climbed La Demande, we were more disposed to enjoying Verdon.
Since then, we've done a couple more single pitch routes – one that wasn't in our guidebook, but had everything to recommend it: great rock in a fantastic location. Beautifully shaped holds, delicate but physical moves, curving up for more than 40metres from an exposed belay above one of the favourite haunts of the vultures.
And we've also jumped on “A Tout Coeur”, with 7 short pitches up from the Jardin des Ecureuils. The first pitch was a polished sandbag, and whilst not the hardest pitch – it felt like the crux! But the remaining 6 were just lovely, finishing the route on Passion d'amour: delicate face climbing, requiring constant attention to feet and body positions.
We've continued to free-camp at the top of the cliff, driving into the extremely quiet hamlet of La Palud or the larger (but still quiet) town of Castellane for supplies, laundry and (only once!) a free hot shower, courtesy of a local climber. Our hands have toughened up once again, and we're taking every opportunity we can to enjoy the sun for the brief time it is out. The vultures and the steep drop to the river never cease to amaze, and the good weather continues.
This place is growing on us, it seems.