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.

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21 September 2017 – Les Salces

This week we propose a relatively level walk of about 7 km in the forest area south of Les Salces. We have done this walk several times over the years.

The walk is all on forest tracks and is relatively easy. The first part rises gently over several km, with a few steeper sections, and at the end we have views down to St. Jean de la Blaquiere and across the Lergue valley. The return descends gently to the Marguerite river valley before a final ascent back to Les Salces. The forecast for Thursday is for a return to the normal quiet and sunny weather for September.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the car park in Les Salces at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km, climbing about 100 m in total

14 September 2017 – Lunas to Col de Peyrolls

This is a moderately easy walk of about 4 km. It includes a long but gentle climb and returns beside the Gravezon river.

This walk starts in the centre of Lunas and the first 2 km are a long but gentle climb, rising about 100 m, to the Col de Peyrolls. Initially this is a concrete road (with good views down to the town), then an old Mule path, which is often very stony (so good shoes are recommended), but is never steep. At the top we join a good forest track for the gentle descent (with views across to Le Bousquet), and the last part of the circuit is a flat path beside the river.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start at about 10:30 from the main bridge in Lunas (next to the Chateau) – parking is generally easy in the town or beside the river. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~4 km, climb 100 m
Bring: good footwear

31 August 2017 – Lacoste

The forecast for this week is not good, with possible thunderstorms in the morning and rain in the afternoon. But if it stays dry we will do a short circular walk around Lacoste, giving views to Lake Salagou and down into the Lergue valley.

The walk is on a mixture of tracks and paths, and is mostly flat, though it starts with a descent and a following climb. Total distance is about 4 km.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, ready to leave at 9:00. The walk will start from the main square in Lacoste at about 9:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 11:30.

24 August 2017 – Chapelle St. Vincent

IMG_6637To restart the regular walks after all our summer diversions, I suggest an easy walk on the plateau. The forecast for Thursday is for a continuation of the current weather, quite windy, not too hot, and with some occasional cloud. The walk is gently uphill, on good paths, rising eventually to the ruins of Chapelle St. Vincent, on the top of a small hill from which there are good views across the plateau and the Herault valley. We then return by the same path.

The walk starts at Camp Rouch and is about 4 km long. Various extensions are possible if people want to walk for longer. The high point of the walk is about 100 m higher than the start, but there are no steep climbs.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, ready to leave at 9:00. The walk should start from Camp Rouch (which is at the end of the D155E2, accessed from Le Caylar or St Felix de l’Heras) at about 9:40.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 4 km or more

 

13 July 2017 – Les Balcons de Lauroux

This is an excellent but hard, all-day walk starting at Lauroux and extending up into the Escandorgue forest. It is officially described as ‘difficile’, 16 km and taking 5 hours.

This walk is in three sections. Firstly, we walk up the valley from Lauroux, passing the Grotte de Labeil, and continuing up the escarpment to the Escandorgue forest, a rise of about 550 m. Parts of this ascent are difficult and a bit scrambly, with some intermediate descents to get past side valleys. Then we walk through the forest in the direction of the Col de Pertus, before starting the descent back to Lauroux. Some of this descent is on good tracks, but other parts are rather steep and stony, and much is rather exposed.

The forecast for Thursday is for full sun, continuing the temperatures of recent days. The walk has some shaded sections, but has other sections in full sun, particularly on the descent.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50 for departure at 9:00. At Lauroux we will park in the designated Walkers Car Park (just before the village), but the walk itself will start from the main bridge in the village, just after the church, at about 9:30. With a stop for lunch we should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 16 km, difficult, climb ~ 800 m
Bring: Picnic, copious fluids, sun protection, strong shoes

 

 

6 July 2017 – Forêt de Parlatges

With the return of the hot weather we propose another forest walk, in the area between Parlatges and St Pierre de la Fage.

The forecast for Thursday is for a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 30°. We propose a walk of about 5 km in the forest below St Pierre de la Fage. The walk is all on forest tracks, and is all down hill for the first half, and uphill for the rest, with a total climb of about 200 m, much of it shaded. At the lower points there are good views down to Parlatges and beyond towards St Etienne and Soubes.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, for departure at 9:00. The walk will start from the walkers car park at St Pierre de la Fage – just after the main roundabout in the village, on the road to La Vacherie, turn right on the narrow road indicating the car park, which you reach after nearly 1 km. We should start from here at about 9:30, and be back in Lodeve by 12:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~5 km, 200 m climb
Bring: Sun protection, water.