This week we will do our annual orchid outing, to the Guilhaumard plateau near La Pezade. This is turning our to be a very good year for flowers, so there should be lots of orchids to spot and identify. As a result, the overall amount of walking will be quite limited, only a few kilometers.
The weather forecast is that it will be dry but quite windy.
As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, for departure at 10:00.
Distance: 2-3 km.
Bring: Flower books, magnifying glass.
Walk on the Guilhaumard Plateau, starting at Mas Reynal
Because it has been so cold and windy this week I have decided to postpone the planned walk to see the storks at Lattes until next week. Instead I propose a brisk walk on the plateau. The forecast for Thursday is that it will be cloudy, but with very little wind, ideal for a good walk.
The walk starts at Mas Reynal, and then follows the GR route along the edge of the escarpment, giving good views down into the Sorgues valley, and across the plateau. We leave the GR at the point where it plunges down into the valley, and continue across the plateau to the road near the junction with the D493. We should see Pasque Flowers and Fritillaries and some early orchids on the walk.
This is not a circular walk, so we will need to organise cars to take drivers back to the starting point.
The walk is about 8km, on paths and tracks that are sometimes quite stony, but never really difficult. It climbs about 100m to the highest point, but goes up and down quite a lot in between. I suggest that you bring a snack to sustain yourself, warm layers (as it may be cold) and good shoes!
As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk proper will start from Mas Reynal at about 10:40, and we should be back in Lodeve soon after 14:00.
This was a circular walk from Canals on the Guihaumard plateau, similar to one we had done several times before, an easy walk of about 6km, on paths and tracks in open country. It included an area where many varieties of orchids can be found (as well as other flowers). On the day the wind was strong, so it was very cold in the (many) exposed areas. In addition, the vegetation was lush and a track shown clearly on the maps did not exist on the ground so we had to strike out around fields of growing crops to join two sections of the walk.
At the orchid area we found many species, though some found it too cold to stop and examine them in detail. Purple and Military orchids (and their hybrids) were the most common, but we identified about 10 different varieties in all – a rewarding outcome, though in a good year you would expect to find a lot more. In addition, we found a hillside covered with purple anemonies (Pasque flowers).
Leader and Commentary: Andrew
Pictures: Andrew and Phyl