16 May 2019 – Saint Privat and Les Salces

This week there will be a choice of two walks, both starting in St Privat.

Pam will lead a circular walk via Les Salces, from where the walk climbs up to the head of the valley, circles west behind St Privat before descending to the Truscott house. The total distance is about 9 km, with 200 m of climbing, and it is all on relatively good tracks.

Ben will take another group on a bird song walk which will be shorter and more relaxed. There will also be a gentle initial climb of about 200 metres, and we should meet the other group towards the end of their walk. We will take time to stop off at various strategic points to admire the beautiful views and to listen and try to identify birds from their songs.

The weather is expected to be warm, with some sun and a light wind from the south, excellent walking weather. There is not a lot of shade on either walk.

Both walks will finish at Ben and Pam’s house, where we are invited for a light buffet at about 13h. If you are NOT a habitual member of the walking group, please let Pam and Ben know that you are coming, so that they have a rough idea of numbers – at peter.truscott{at}orange.fr – with the {at} replaced by the ‘at sign’ (arobase).

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walks will start from the parking area at the beginning of St Privat, on the D153 at the junction with Chemin des Rougeos, at about 10:30.

Leaders: Ben & Pam
Distance: 3 km or 9 km

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11 April 2019 – Le Barry

This week Ben will lead a circular walk from Le Barry, near Montpeyroux. There is the possibility of taking lunch in Montpeyroux after the walk.

This is a marked circular walk of just over 7 km, in the hilly area around Le Barry. It passes the old castle – Le Castelas – and includes climbs of nearly 300 m. It is not the easiest of walks but should be possible for everyone.

The town of Montpeyroux hosts the Terrasse du Mimosa restaurant, and some of the walkers intend to take lunch there after the walk. If you wish to join them you MUST book in advance at the restaurant, on 0467444980 – say that you will be part of the group organised by Ben Truscott. The lunch menu costs about €20 for two courses.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema in Lodeve, but at the earlier time of 9:20, in order to leave at 9:30. The walk will start from the parking area at the entrance to Le Barry at 10:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: 7.6 km, climb ~ 300 m

A Walk Around Octon

We shall set off from Octon passing the ruins of “le chateau de Lauziere”, and on to “le chapelle de Roubignac, (12me siecle). The walk is a loop of about 10km, with a climb of maximum 200m on good tracks. On the way back we shall pass the two dolmens de Toucou.

It’s quite a sell known historic walk with beautiful views that, I’m sure , some of you might already have done. It is said to take about 3h 15 mns so we shall set off from the central square in Octon at 10.30 and we should be back in Lodeve at about 14.30.

We shall meet, as usual, in front of Luteva at 9.50. According to the forecast it’s going to be sunny on Thursday but a bit cold in the morning.

Leader: Ben

14 June 2018 – 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 back through the reserve before meeting the original path to retrace our steps to the start. It’s all flat and easy walking. Bring binoculars if you are interested in watching the birds.

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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 warm and mostly sunny, with some wind.

Dogs are permitted on this walk but must be kept on a lead when within the nature reserve.

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 decorated with flamingos, 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 16:00.

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

10 May 2018 – Mont Liausson

This week we propose the long-threatened ascent of Mont Liausson, to the south of Lake Salagou. The walk includes a steep and strenuous ascent (and descent) of about 300 m on well-worn, stony tracks, so it is important to come with good footwear and stamina!

The climb up Mont Liausson is a well-loved walk in the area. It is measured at 7 km, but feels significantly longer, involving nearly 400 m of climbing and taking at least 3 hours before breaks. The forecast is for sunny periods but strong winds, with the air temperature reaching about 20°. It will be particularly gusty at the summit.

Starting from the village of Liausson, we walk through vineyards for about 1 km, before starting 3 km of climbing, all the way to the ridge at the top of the mountain. From here there are magnificent views, to the north across Lake Salagou, and to the south across the Cirque de Mourèze towards the Pic de Vissou and Cabrières. Near the top we will pass by the the ruins of l’hermitage de St-Jean-d’Aureillan, just before the eastern end of the ridge. From here we descend by a similar path, passing the Grotte de Liausson.

For those interested in birdlife we might see or hear some interesting birds, notably the Dartford warbler (la Fauvette pitchou) or the blue rock thrush (la Monticole bleu).

As usual the we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start at about 10:30 from the car park opposite the mairie in Liausson. We should be back in Lodeve by about 15:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: ~7 km, ~400 m climb
Bring: Snack, water, good shoes, binoculars, stamina

29 March 2018 – Notre Dame des Clans at Salagou

This is a circular walk at Lake Salagou around the hamlet of Les Vailhes, starting along the lakeside then climbing to the chapel and returning by the upper road.

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A normal spring day is forecast for next Thursday, sun, cloud and some wind, and little risk of rain. We propose a moderate walk of about 5 km at the edge of Lake Salagou. The first half is along the lakeside, up and down along a marked track through the ruffe. After about 2 km it reaches the chapel of Notre Dame des Clans, set back on the hillside. From here we climb up to the road (quite steep, but not long) and then return by the road at the higher level. We last did this walk about 3 years ago.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50 for departure at 10:00. The walk will start from the main car park beside the lake at Vailhes at about 10:20. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: ~ 5 km, climb 50 m.

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