SOTA: F/MC-263 (Lacoste)

I left the house near Bordeaux in the early morning and returned after dark, but I succeeded in activating three sites clustered just east of Brive-la-Gaillarde: F/MC-263 (Lacoste), F/MC-178 (Roche de Vic) and F/MC-192 (La Ramière).

The shaded area with dotted border at lower left is the north-east corner of the FL/SO area. If you wanted to add one more summit to a trip like this, you could consider FL/SO-004, which is in that corner. I might have done this if it were mid-summer with longer daylight time.

The journey commences with MC-263, which is a grassy hilltop with a commercial antenna tower at one end, but plenty of room to activate at the other end. My GPS calculated directions correctly, taking me through a hilltop village with some narrow streets. The final road to the top was dirt and gravel, but no problem, although after a recent rain the top of the hill itself got muddy.

Useful features of the hilltop in terms of activation include some fence posts and some bushes, but no trees or other high structures aside from the commercial antenna and outbuildings.

I did not experience any interference from that antenna.

I lashed a telescoping pole to the fence and supported the other end of my end-fed antenna in the bushes.

This is the operating position (on my coat). Watch out for thorns in those bushes. The bush height is only about 1.5 meters.

I did not see any people or animals up there, but I was fairly certain sheep had grazed up their not too long ago, so watch your footing (and where you sit).

The view is unobstructed in all directions. Some high tension electrical lines are not too distant, but I did not notice any noise on CW with my narrow filter in place. Propagation conditions were pretty good: 33 QSOs on 20m, 1 on 10m, 5 on 40m. I did not linger, since I had two more hills to activate, so back in the car and onward to F/MC-178.

A panorama shot of the summit.

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