4 January 2018 – Saint-Félix-de-Lodez

2018-01-04 St Felix routeThe proposed walk is an easy ramble on farm roads through the vineyards to the North of St Felix – we last did this walk about 2 years ago. It is about 6 km, and completely flat.

It is forecast to be warmer by Thursday, but mostly cloudy, with some wind.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50 ready to depart at 10:00.

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The walk will start at 10:25 from the car park outside the cave cooperative, behind the restaurant Le St. Jacques, just off the D141 towards Jonquieres. We expect to be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 6 km.

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7 December 2017 – Portiragnes Plage

This is a circular walk of about 9 km, all at sea-level, involving the beach, a nature reserve in marsh-land, and the Canal du Midi.

The walk this week will start at Portiragnes Plage, led by Ben, with bird-watching opportunities. The first part of the walk is along the beach, then on to a path leading through a nature reserve, where there will be good chance of seeing some interesting water or wading birds. The next leg is along the Canal du Midi, with the canal on one side and marshes on the other, then along the road back to Portiragnes Plage. It’s all flat and easy walking. Bring binoculars if you are interested in watching the birds.

As this is a fairly long walk, and a long way away, we will stop for a snack in the middle. The weather is forecast to be warmer, with some sun and not much wind.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the Tourist Office in Portiragnes Plage at about 11:00. To get there directly take the D612 (either from the A75 or from Vias past the airport), then the D37 past Portiragnes. At Portiragnes Plages turn right at the roundabout with the flamingoes decorating it, direction Plage Ouest. At the next junction, go straight ahead towards Plage Est. The tourist office is just along there, set back on the right, with plenty of space for parking. We should be back in Lodeve by 15:30.

Leader: Ben
Distance: 9 km
Bring: Snack, Binoculars

23 November 2017 – La Jasse

This is a flat circular walk of about 6 km on the plateau above Millau, which we have done before, though not for several years.

The forecast for next Thursday is that it will be warmer than of late, with not much wind, but it will be very overcast, with the risk of drizzle. This walk is on tracks and quiet roads on the plateau, but reaches the edge of the escarpment, with views down to the Tarn valley and Millau, and across to the Millau Bridge. We often see vultures in this area, though that is less likely with low cloud.

As usual we shall meet outside the Lodeve Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The forecast for Millau is better than for Lodeve, so we will leave even if it is raining in Lodeve. The walk itself will start at about 10:50 from the Maison du Larzac (also known as La Jasse), on the D809 road from the motorway to Millau. Access is via a slip-road on the right (with a sign-post) and then through a narrow tunnel under the dual carriageway.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km

10 November 2017 – Octon to Salagou

This is an easy walk of about 7 km from Octon over to Lake Salagou, an area where we have often walked before.

2016-03-31 12-34-15It is forecast to remain cold and rather windy this week, so we propose this easy, circular walk of about 7 km, generally flat, and all on tracks and quiet roads. However, it is rather exposed, so make sure you have some protection against the wind. There are often some water birds of interest at the lake, so think about bringing your binoculars.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the main square in Octon at about 10:25 and take about 2 hours. The bar in Octon is usually open, so it should be possible to take lunch there for those not in a rush to get back.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km

12 October 2017 – Pont du Diable

This week we propose a choice of two walks, both starting from the Pont du Diable at St Jean de Fos. There will be a flat walk of about 7 km to the St Sylvestre church and back, and a much harder circular walk of about 16 km up on the plateau to the east of the Herault river. Both walks will start and end at the Pont du Diable car park. The weather is expected to be sunny, starting cool but warming up towards midday.

The first walk follows a way-marked route along a good farm track along the foot of the escarpment and beside fields and vineyards, to the small St Sylvestre church, set in trees and looking down towards Aniane. This is a good spot to have a rest and a snack. We then return by the same route. This walk should take about 2 hours,

The other walk is a hard circuit of about 16 km. It starts with one of the most difficult sections we have ever walked, a climb straight up the side of the escarpment, rising 250 m in less than 1 km. There is a proper path, but it involves clambering in places, and is rather exposed, with excellent views down steep drops to the river valley below – not for the feint-hearted! The main part of the walk on the plateau is generally easier, but there are several extended sections where we walk over loose stony scree, which can be difficult on the ankles. From the plateau there are excellent views, including a proper lookout point across the river to St Guilhem. We pass the Montcalmes hamlet before continuing on to the St Sylvestre church. The walk will take about 5 hours, including a stop for a picnic.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walks will start from outside the visitor centre at the Pont du Diable car park, at about 10:45. Those on the flat walk should be back in Lodeve by 13:30, on the hard walk not until 16:30.

Flat walk
Leader: Jenny
Distance: 7 km, rising 50 m
Bring: snack.

Hard Walk
Leader: Andrew
Distance: 16 km, climb 300 m
Bring: Sun protection, good shoes, water, picnic.

29 June 2017 – Vieux Chemin de Poujols

This week we will walk along Vieux Chemin de Poujols to Domaine Chateau Mallet and return along the same route. The walk is mostly in the shade with short sections in full sun.  Apart from two short rises (and descents) the route is completely flat.

Any overnight rain should have cleared by the morning, and it is expected to be sunny and breezy, but not too hot.

As usual we shall meet at 8:50 at the Luteva Cinema, and will depart on foot from there at 9:00. If it suits, you can join the walk at the corner of Vieux Chemin de Poujols and Avenue de L’Escandorgue at 9:15. We should be back at the cinema by 11:00.

Leader: Ray
Distance: ~ 6 km.

25 May 2017 – to Canals on the Guilhaumard

This is an easy circular walk of about 6 km, on the Guilhaumard plateau between La Pezade and Canals. We have done this walk regularly in previous years. There is a good chance of seeing some of the later flowering orchids at both the beginning and the end of this walk.

The first part of this walk is along the GR from La Pezade, heading for Mas Reynal. At Canals we strike off on country tracks to return to the starting point. This is one of the best areas I know for orchids, and although the weather has been rather difficult this year, there is a good chance that we will find several varieties.

The weather forecast for Thursday is for full sun and light winds from the South, so it will be hot. Come prepared, with a hat, sun cream and water!

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk should start at about 10:40 on the plateau. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30, unless people want to spend longer looking at orchids!

For those going directly to the starting point, take the motorway to Le Caylar, and then (after negotiating your way round the diversions associated with the roadworks at the Aire) head for the D609. This is the road (alongside the motorway) signposted to La Couvertoirade, Nant and l’Hospitalet. Stay on the D609 until you get to La Pezade (don’t go toward La Couvertoirade or Nant – and beware that the road number seems to change to the D809 when you cross the department boundary). In La Pezade turn left onto the D140, towards Canals, Mas Reynal and Le Clapier. The meeting point is a bit more than 1 km along this road, at the brow of the hill, where you can park on the right.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~6 km
Bring: Sun protection, Orchid books