This 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. Then 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.
Bring: Picnic, water, good shoes, sun protection, stamina
Distance: ~16 km, ~600 m climbing, 5+ hours walking
Difficulty: Some difficult sections.
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.
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.
Pam organised this Thursday’s walk for us. The walk was led by Philippe Martin and we walked together with the St Etienne walking group. We walked around the red earth (ruffes) near St Jean de la Blaquiere and he told us about the geology of the area, the plants and the animals who live there. We started with a group of around 20 people
Philippe had warned us the walk had two difficult parts in it, which we soon found out! But after he told us a women of 85 had climbed that hill recently, we were all convinced we were able to give it a try. We all made it, but my legs – and probably other peoples’ legs too – , were a bit shaky afterwards.
The area we walked in was beautiful and Philippe told us some interesting things about its history. A long time ago (some 450 millions of years ago) the climate here was hot and dry. And burned the soil, which gave it the special red colour.
The next two photos show us the difficult part of the walk. We had to climb a steep hill on a loose surface. But on hands and foot we all made it to the top of the hill.
Before the climb.
After the climb.
Philippe left our group now and then to search for special plants or animals. He even found a scorpion, which he caught by the tail, so that the scorpion could not sting him.
On the way back we walked through the bushes with a beautiful view into the hills of the area around St.Jean de la Blaquière.
Around half past one we were back at the cars. It was a nice, sometimes rather difficult, walk.