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Posted on
May 12, 2023
Champagny le Haut.

Hi everyone, and welcome to another blog post. Quite a lot has been going on over the last couple of weeks. I've left Méribel after another fantastic winter, and since arriving back in the UK have caught up with many family members and friends. Those of you who know me may recall that my parents' house has been up for sale since last August: the good news there is that the house sale completed with the new owners moving in at the end of last month just before I left France. As ever with these things, it was somewhat fiddly and overly complicated, partly due to me being abroad. But I'm now at the stage of finishing my Dad's 'end of life' admin, and am looking forward to moving onto the next chapter.

Bouquetins in their environment: wonderful glaciers in the background.

I enjoyed some lovely 'me time' during my final couple of weeks in Méribel. One of my treats is to head into the Vanoise National Park with a big camera. It is a stunning place at the best of times, and a highlight is to try to capture some bouquetins (ibex). The National Park is absolutely stunning in terms of scenery, including several glaciers, and I do love a bit of wildlife spotting.

A Gypaete Barbu (vulture) looking for its next meal!?! There's a red piste in Méribel called Gypaete, now you know what it looks like!

Quite how these creatures survive in the mountains, especially through the winter months, I do not know. To be honest, just like in the UK, April had its fair share of showers. Which of course, up in the mountains, fall as snow.

At the weekend Harriet and I made a last-minute spontaneous visit to London, to go to the National History Museum in South Kensington for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. We have been many times before, but for one reason or another hadn't for the last five years or so. If any of you have seen these exhibitions, you will know how high the standard is and how incredible these photos are. There's one category called 'Behaviour', which is my favourite. This is something I try and capture in my wedding photography, and also with wildlife photography.......

Bouquetins are incredible climbers by the way, with soft grippy pads on the bottom of their feet.

If you are in London with a few hours to spare then I strongly recommend this exhibition. There are only a couple of months left of this year's competition, which closes on July 2nd here's a link to the official website to book tickets. A photo of some ibex often makes the final selection, and there's one this year that was taken in Italy which is wonderful.

For me, bouquetins are the Alps equivalent of Royalty. They are utterly majestic. Right, that's it from me for a few months. I hoped you enjoyed final post from this winter and spring. I do plan on returning back to Méribel during the summer with my bikes and cameras. I'm not sure exactly when, but unfortunately it looks like it won't be when the Tour de France comes through Méribel and up the Col de la Loze in July. Have a fabulous summer everyone, and don't forget to Live With Passion. Martin.

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