21 February 2019 – Cirque du Bout du Monde

This is a marked petite randonnée of about 9 km starting at the village of Gourgas and climbing more than 500 m. It is officially classed as Moyen Difficulté. For those who do not want to undertake such a significant climb a much shorter, flatter walk will also be possible, from the same starting point.

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This is a well-known circular walk, starting in the village of Gourgas. We have talked about doing this walk, but have never done it – it is well-marked, and a brochure is available from the tourist office.

The walk sets off west from the village, climbing continuously until it joins the GR route from Soubes, about half way up to the plateau. Some of this ascent is steep and stony – this is the most taxing part of the walk. From here we turn back towards the north-east, and then follow a long path at the same general level all the way round the bowl of hills behind the village. The path goes up and down a lot but stays half way up the hillside, below the cliffs. Finally there is a long descent back to the village, on wide forest tracks. The overall walk is about 9 km, and will take at least 3 hours.

The forecast for this week is good – sunny, not too hot and not too windy.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the signposted parking area in Gourgas, at about 10:20. We should be back in Lodeve by 15:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 9 km, climb >500 m, sometimes steep
Bring: Good shoes, snack.

In addition: For those who do not want to undertake an arduous walk, there will also be a much easier walk starting from the same spot. This is a circular walk to St Etienne and back, about 5 km and climbing only 50 m, all on quiet roads. This group should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Martin
Distance: 5 km, climb 50 m

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17 January 2019 – Fontès to Ceressou

This is an excellent marked circular walk (facile) of about 6.5 km, from the village of Fontès to the top of the nearby hill of Ceressou, from which there are excellent views.

The walk starts by exploring the village, which is built over the remains of a castle, and includes ramparts and old gates. From the village we set off across the fields, cross the Boyne river (stepping stones and branches, can be tricky after rain), and then ascend the south flank of the Ceressou hill (described as an ancient volcano but more likely a lava flow). The climb is about 180 m and is fairly steep (a monté, not a chemin), demanding but not too difficult. The top of the hill is flat, and from different points there are views south towards the sea, and west towards Fontès. We descend from the hill on the north-west side (not so steep but more loose stones), and then take a different route across the fields back to the village, returning via the church.

The forecast is that it will be mostly cloudy, but rain is unlikely, and it will be a bit warmer and less windy than recent days.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the Cave (Fontesole) in Fontès, at about 10:45. The best route is to take the motorway to the Adissan turning, drive through the village and then follow the signs to Fontès. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 6.5 km, 200 m climb

6 December 2018 – Pic de Vissou

This is an excellent though fairly hard circular walk of about 9 km, climbing from the vineyards of Cabrières to the top of the Pic de Vissou, more than 350 m above.

2017-03-05 15-53-49.JPGThis is a way-marked circuit that includes the whole of the ridge between the two peaks of Vissou. Starting in the valley it ascends to the north end of the ridge, from where we turn south and climb to the main peak (excellent views). We then follow the ridge south-west past the lower peak, before descending back to the valley. It is the central section of the ‘Crêtes de Vissou’ walk, for which a brochure is available from tourist offices in the area. The walk is mostly on good tracks and paths, but there are some steep, stony sections, both ascending and descending, where good shoes will be important. The walk takes about 4 hours, so we will stop for a picnic break (hot drink?) somewhere at the top.

The weather is forecast to be mostly cloudy, and perhaps a bit windy at the top, but with no rain and a comfortable temperature for walking.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 09:50 ready to leave at 10:00. We should start the walk at about 10:40, from the walkers car park on the D15 just after the bridge over the Boyne river, before you get to the village itself. We should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 9 km
Climb: 550 m
Bring: Good Shoes, Picnic

15 November 2018 – La Jasse

This is a flat circular walk of about 7 km on the plateau above Millau.

The damp weather is forecast to continue for a few more days, but rain is less likely further north on the plateau. So we propose to repeat this walk, in the area just south of Millau, where it will probably be overcast but with little risk of rain. We often see vultures in this area, though that is less likely with low cloud.

This walk is mostly on level tracks and quiet roads on the plateau, but reaches the edge of the escarpment, with views down to the Tarn valley and Millau, and across to the Millau Bridge. At the escarpment there is a short uphill section on a stony path which may be a little difficult after the recent rain. Other sections may be a bit muddy.2017-11-23 11-26-43.JPG

As usual we shall meet outside the Lodeve Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The forecast for Millau is better than for Lodeve, so we will leave even if it is raining in Lodeve. The walk itself will start at about 10:50 from the Maison du Larzac (also known as La Jasse), on the D809 road from the motorway to Millau. Access is via a slip-road on the right (with a sign-post) and then through a narrow tunnel under the dual carriageway.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km

8 November 2018 – Nebian

This is a relatively easy walk of about 6 km around the hills above Nebian.

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Nebian

Next Thursday is forecast to be cloudy but dry in the morning. We propose to repeat a walk around Nebian that we have done several times before. It is about 6 km, mostly on tracks and quite roads, with views down on the town and across the Herault valley. The total climb is less than 100 m.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk will start from the main car park in the middle of Nebian at about 10:25. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Organiser: Andrew
Distance: 6 km

4 October 2018 – Les Rives

2016-03-24 11-05-14This week we will try again with the circular walk on the plateau to the west of Les Rives!

The walk is quite long, about 8 km, but quite easy, all on country roads and good tracks. It is mostly level, with a few rolling sections, and a total climb of about 50 m. The terrain is varied, with open views across fields and the more distant plateau, and wooded and scrubby sections. The forecast is for mostly full sun, but with a continuation of the recent lower air temperatures, and the wind should have dropped.

As usual, we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to set off at 10:00. The walk will start at 10:30 from the parking area in Les Rives. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km
Bring: Snack, sun protection.

27 September 2018 – Les Rives

2016-03-24 11-05-14This is a circular walk on the plateau to the west of Les Rives.

The walk is quite long, about 8 km, but quite easy, all on country roads and good tracks. It is mostly level, with a few rolling sections, and a total climb of about 50m. The terrain is varied, with open views across fields and the more distant plateau, and wooded and scrubby sections. The forecast is for mostly full sun, but with a continuation of the recent lower air temperatures, and not much wind.

As usual, we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to set off at 10:00. The walk will start at 10:30 from the parking area in Les Rives. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km
Bring: Snack, sun protection.