28 March 2019 – Villemagne l’Argentière

This week we propose an all-day walk of about 11 km, in the area between Nissergues (just west of Bédarieux) and Villemagne. This is a hilly area full of old fields, stone walls and shelters, vineyards and orchards, mostly cherry, which should be in full bloom. Most of the walk is on very quiet country roads with good surfaces, but a few sections are on tracks, occasionally in poor condition. It is not a difficult walk, but the roads do go up and down a lot, with some short steep sections.

We start this walk by the Intermarché supermarket between Bédarieux and Hérépian. From here we walk back towards Bédarieux along the Voie Verte, the old railway line to Lamalou. At Nissergues we start the climb to the upper levels of the walk, rising about 100 m (sometimes quite steeply) on a mixture of roads and paths – this is the hardest part of the walk. Once at the top we are in open rolling countryside with good views into the Orb and Mare valleys and across to Le Caroux. The route continues for several kilometers at this level and then descends towards Villemagne, crossing the Mare river. We will stop in the village for a picnic, if we have not done so already. For the return we follow the river for a while and then head up into the cherry orchards, all on good but quiet roads, before descending back to the starting point. From Villemagne it is possible to extend the walk with a visit to the local Pont du Diable – yes, there is more than one.

The forecast for this week is good – mostly sunny, so quite warm, and not particularly windy. Some sections of the walk are shaded, but mostly it will be in full sun.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the large Intermarché car-park, at about 10:50. The supermarket is about 2 km beyond the end of Bédarieux, on the road towards Hérépian (the D906). We shall be back in Lodève by the end of the afternoon.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 11 km, climb ~300 m, sometimes steep
Bring: Good shoes, sun protection, drink, picnic.

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7 March 2019 – 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 have done this walk several times. It is about 6 km, and completely flat.

After overnight rain it should be dry and sunny on Thursday, but quite windy, so feeling fairly cold.

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.

A walk from St. Jean de la Blaquiere to Les Salces

I tried to lead this walk in 2015 only to find that the river was blocked just South of Les Salces so we had to turn back.  So fingers crossed for this time.  We shall start out from the main square in St. Jean and follow the Ruisseau de Ste. Marguerite to Les Salces and return via the Bruyeres des Salces.It is an undulating walk over chemins and vineyard paths. The weather is forecast to be dry with some wind and this walk, much of which is through vines and trees is not too exposed. It is between 9 and 10 km so we should arrive back in St. Jean by 1.30 and at Luteva by 2.00. (If necessary it can be shortened.)

The meeting place will be at Luteva at 9:50 for a 10.00 start. For those meeting in the main square in St. Jean, the walk will start at 10.30.

A walk from St. Jean de la Blaquiere

The weather forecast is good for tomorrow so I propose a walk to the south east of St. Jean over easy very minor roads and vineyard chemins with  two short stretches on a busier road. We may also visit the donkeys who provide the asses’ milk for the soap that is made and sold in St. Jean!

Meeting as usual at Luteva at 9.50 for a 10.00 departure and the walk will start from the car park in St. Jean at 10.30.

13 December 2018 – Domaine de la Tour

This week we propose an easy walk around the fields close to the Domaine de la Tour, south of Nebian. 

This is a walk of between 3 and 5 km (we can decide as we go round) on the tracks south of Nebian. It is mostly flat.

The forecast for Thursday is not good. It should be dry at the start, but there is a high chance that rain will start by the end of the morning, so come prepared. The nature of the walk is that it can be curtailed if necessary.

As usual we shall meet at 9:50 outside the Luteva Cinema, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk will start at about 10:30 from the car park at the Domaine de la Tour. The Domaine is reached by a turning (on the left, with a sign) about 1.5 km south of Nebian on the D609.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 3 – 5 km

6 September 2018 – St Frechoux

This week we propose a short walk (there and back) of about 4 km, alongside the Lergue river, starting at St Frechoux.

Now that the summer is over (!) or at least that the mornings are cooler, we shall revert to our standard starting time of 10:00.

The forecast suggests that there may be thunder-showers this Thursday, but if the weather stays dry we will do the short walk on the Salagou side of the Lergue, starting at St Frechoux and walking as far as the Octon road, then back along the same track. This walk is about 2 km in each direction, and mostly flat. We last did this walk about 4 years ago, before the big flood (2015) that did a lot of damage to this section of the river.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from St Frechoux (there is parking beside the river) at about 10:20. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

As we move into the autumn season, please think about any walks that you would like to propose for the group. These can be of any length, from a short stroll (like our 3 km around Lunas) up to a whole day out up a mountain or at the sea-side. Don’t hold back!

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 4 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.