Walking in the Mountains

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Make sure that if you walk near horses, goats or other animals with your dog, that it is on a lead. Animals grazing on uneven ground or near cliff edges can be surprised by a barking dog and react suddenly which may have ugly consequences.

Even if you live in the mountains, it is strongly advisable for you to tell a neighbour or someone close to you where you are going out on a walk and when you expect to be back.

Broken ankles are common in the mountains, and even if you are half a kilometer from your home, if you are in the mountains and you cannot move, are out of sight, and have no mobile phone to call for help, the chances are slim that someone will hear or find you.

There was a case last week of a horse grazing on the mountainside being stung by a hornet and who subsequently died. He had to be covered immediately to protect being eaten by the vultures that are common in the mountain skies here.

Ensure you have proper walking shoes, and have a mobile phone with GPS/Tom Tom – though in some mountain areas there may be signal failure – if this is the case, then do not walk alone. Most French people carry strong long sticks when they go walking in the mountains together. These are not taken because they have difficulty walking! You never know “what” you might meet along the mountain roads! Also wear a hat when you go out walking – the sun is extremely strong in the mountains. It is also advisable to have your legs and arms covered when you are going out on walks – to protect against bites and/or sudden temperature changes.
Dial 112 in an emergency.

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