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.

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5 October 2017 – La Couvertoirade

Circular walk looking for mushrooms

After what passes for rain, and a few warm days, there is a reasonable chance that some mushrooms will be appearing. So this is a good time to do our annual walk from La Couvertoirade. 2014-10-09-11-11-32

This is a circular walk of about 7km, on stony tracks and paths, mostly gentle, but with a total climb of about 100m.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50 ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the car park at La Couvertoirade, at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7km

24 August 2017 – Chapelle St. Vincent

IMG_6637To restart the regular walks after all our summer diversions, I suggest an easy walk on the plateau. The forecast for Thursday is for a continuation of the current weather, quite windy, not too hot, and with some occasional cloud. The walk is gently uphill, on good paths, rising eventually to the ruins of Chapelle St. Vincent, on the top of a small hill from which there are good views across the plateau and the Herault valley. We then return by the same path.

The walk starts at Camp Rouch and is about 4 km long. Various extensions are possible if people want to walk for longer. The high point of the walk is about 100 m higher than the start, but there are no steep climbs.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, ready to leave at 9:00. The walk should start from Camp Rouch (which is at the end of the D155E2, accessed from Le Caylar or St Felix de l’Heras) at about 9:40.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 4 km or more

 

15 June 2017 – Escandorgue Forest

This is a short and fairly easy walk in the (largely shaded) Escandorgue forest.

The forecast for Thursday is for continuing high temperatures, but with increasing wind and some cloud for the afternoon. So we propose a walk in the Escandorgue forest, where there will be a reasonable amount of shade. The walk is about 6 km, all on forest tracks, with ascents and descents throughout.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 08:50 ready to depart at 9:00. We should start the walk at about 9:20, from the parking area at the entrance to the forest, on the D142 just opposite the turning to Roqueredonde. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 6 km, ~ 50 m of ascent.
Bring: Sun cream, water.

8 June 2017 – all-day walk from Pegairolles

2015-03-27 14-12-58This walk is the recently opened circuit of the Escalette from Pegairolles. It incorporates parts of two other walks that we have done in the area. It is a hard walk – about 16 km (5+ hours), rising about 600 m, and with some short scrambly sections.

Starting from Pegairolles we walk up the Lergue valley to Le Bronc, a walk that we have done several times in the past. From here we climb up to the old mule track leading to the Escalette – this is the part of the walk that has recently been reopened and marked. 2015-03-27 14-01-15Then we cross the motorway and take a new path to the top of the cliffs above the tunnel, leading down towards Camp Rouch. Here we join a path that we took for an all-day walk a couple of years ago, including precipitous views down to the motorway from the top of the cliffs. A few bits of this section involve some difficult descents. The last couple of km pass through woods before descending back to Pegairolles.

The forecast for Thursday is for full sun and 26C after a cool start – the beginning of a period of hotter weather. Parts of the walk are shaded, but at least half is in full sun, so come prepared.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, ready to depart at 9:00. The walk itself will start at 9:30 from the parking area above Pegairolles on the road into the village from the motorway (junction 51). We should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Bring: Picnic, water, good shoes, sun protection, stamina
Distance: ~16 km, ~600 m climbing, 5+ hours walking
Difficulty: Some difficult sections.

1st June 2017 – the ‘Enchanted Forest’ at Nogaret

This is a fairly straight-forward circular walk, mostly in a Beech forest, about 9 km in length, climbing a total of about 100 m, and occasionally stony underfoot.

The walk starts from a parking area at Nogaret, close to the Arche community, and should take about 3 hours. It will be led by Anabelle, who describes the area as la ‘forêt enchantée’. Good shoes are advised, and bring a snack, as it is a slightly longer walk than usual. The forecast for Thursday is for sunny intervals, but not too hot.

As usual we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema, but at the summer start time of 8:50, ready to depart at 9:00. The walk itself should start at about 9:45, with a return to Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Anabelle + Dorine
Distance: 9 km
Bring: Snack

4 May 2017 – Flowers around Les Salces

This is a circular walk of about 8 km starting at Les Salces and climbing up about 200 m, on small tracks and paths.
Note that this is NOT the longer and more difficult walk that was discussed last week.

This is a walk around the hillsides above St. Privat and Les Salces, where there are many wild flowers at the moment. The walk starts at Les Salces, and then proceeds West past St. Privat, before returning by a higher route, via Pioch Redon. It does involve some ascents, though generally on good tracks, and the overall distance is about 8 km.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 09:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the car park in Les Salces at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: 8 km
Climb: ~200 m