23 March 2017 – Bergerie d’Autignac

A circular walk past the Bergerie d’Autignac, at the edge of the escarpment above Soubès.

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View towards Soubes

The forecast for Thursday is rather uncertain, with Meteo France expecting showers all day, and the BBC saying that overnight rain will have passed by the morning.


Jonquils at Bergerie d’Autignac

If the weather is OK we will undertake this circular walk on the edge of the plateau above Soubès. This is an area with lots of wild flowers. In a couple of weeks the asphodels and iris will appear, followed by orchids, but the daffodils (Jonquils) are already in flower. There are excellent views at various points round the walk, past Soubès to Lodève, and down to Gourgas.

The walk is about 7 km, all on good tracks, but more than half is uphill, usually quite gentle. We will stop for a snack when we get to the upper level of the walk (about two thirds of the way round).

To get to the starting point for this walk we need to drive about 3 km on a dirt road from Soubès. The road quality if generally good, but it is steep and precipitous in places, not for the faint-hearted, weak suspension or flagging engines. I suggest that all drivers meet in Lodève so that we can go in convoy to the start.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 09:50, ready to leave at 10:00. We should be back in Lodève by 14:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~7 km

16 March 2017 – Les Mines de Cabrières

A longer walk than usual, over the hills between Cabrières and Péret, passing old Barite mines (Barium Sulphate), including a prehistoric one, several Capitelles, and some interesting water management works.

There will also be a short, alternative walk around Grezac.

This is a circular walk from Cabrières, starting from outside the marie, as we did last week. However, the walk is significantly harder and longer. It rises some 300 m, mostly on tracks that are sometimes steep and stony. The overall distance is more than 10 km, and there will be more than 3 hours walking.

The walk leaves Cabrières by the old route de Peret, then climbs up by paths and tracks, passing several Capitelles and mines (Barytine, or Barite). There are historical mines here, but also evidence of recent open-cast working. From the top we descent towards Peret, but then return by the valley of the Ruisseau du Braun, where there are excavations of a prehistoric mine. Towards the end of the walk we pass an area where a spring is actively managed to create an irrigation system for the hillside fields. Throughout the walk there are excellent views, to Pic de Vissou, the Pyrenees, and Pic St Loup.

As this is a long walk, we will have a proper break in the middle, so bring a substantial snack.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00, and the walk should start from Cabrières at about 10:40. We should return to Lodeve about 15:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: > 10 km
Ascent: 300+ m
Surface: Rough and stony

Alternative: For those who do not want to undertake a hard walk there will be an alternative local walk starting at the same time from the Cinema, walking in the area of Grezac.


9 March 2017 – Cabrières

A circular walk of about 8 km on quiet roads to the west of Cabrières.

This is an easy, though fairly long, circuit from Cabrières, all on quiet country roads. We leave the village by the D124E4 and ascend, following the valley of the Ruisseau des Caviès, for about 2.5 km, climbing about 100 m. We then cross over to the valley of Les Pitrous for the return.

2011-12-15 12-48-01.JPGThis walk involves a ford, where the river flows straight across the road. The water is not deep (no more than 2 cm, unless we get heavy rain in the next few days), but there are no proper stepping stones, so you need shoes or boots that can cope with this. The weather is forecast to be warm and sunny, but windy.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 09:50 ready to leave at 10:00. We should start the walk at about 10:40, from near the Marie in Cabrières. There are parking places along most of the main road through the village, all the way to the Cave Cooperative (which is just after the Marie). We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km
Climb: 100 m
Surface: Tarmac