4 July 2019 – Les Salces

This week we propose a relatively level walk of about 6 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, is relatively easy, and is mostly shaded. The first part rises gently over several km, with a few steeper sections, and at the end we have views towards 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 the hot weather to continue, mostly full sun, and some breeze.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 8:50, ready to depart at 9:00. The walk will start from the car park in Les Salces at about 9:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~6 km, climbing about 100 m in total
Bring: Water, sun protection.


20 June 2019 – Grezac

It is forecast to be cloudy but warm this Thursday, with the likelihood of showers later in the afternoon. So we propose to do a long walk (~ 10 km) from the Cinema up and around Grezac, from which we can cut back to Lodeve of the weather gets too bad.

This is a long and occasionally challenging walk around the bottom of the cliffs above Grezac. It is about 10 km long and climbs about 300 m. We set off along the Chemin des Amoureux, then cut across to Fontbonne, before joining the GR for the ascent to the top of Grezac. We then turn east below the cliffs and skirt round for several km before descending to the road between Grezac and Lauroux, from where we follow various paths back to town. This walk has various options for digressions, including visiting the Oppidum and dinosaur footprints.

About half this walk is on reasonable tracks and roads, but some of the rest can be tricky at times, and there may have been rain overnight, so good shoes and sticks are recommended.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart on foot at 10:00. The walk will take about 4 hours, so with a break for a snack we should be back in Lodeve by 14:30, before the rain starts!

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~ 10 km, climb ~ 300 m
Bring: Good shoes, good snack.

6 June 2019 – 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.

2017-09-11 16-15-10This 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.

The weather is expected to be warm and mostly sunny, with not much wind.

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 and the church) – parking is generally easy in the town or beside the river. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00, though it is usually possible to find lunch in Lunas for those so inclined.

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

30 May 2019 – Brenas

This week we propose a circular walk from the small village of Brenas in the upper Salagou valley. This rather wild area is interesting from both geological (ruffes) and wildlife perspectives.

The walk is about 7 km, on a combination of paths, tracks and quiet roads, and is never flat. The first part descends to the Salagou river and then we return back up to Brenas, a total ascent of about 250 m, relentless but rarely steep and never difficult.

The forecast for Thursday is that it will be mostly sunny and quiet warm, with moderate wind. There is very little shade on this walk, so come prepared.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the parking area near the church in Brenas, at about 10:40. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:30.

Leader: Sandrine
Distance: 7 km, 250 m climb
Bring: Water, sun protection, refreshment

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

9 May 2019 – Mont St Baudille

This week we propose the climb to the top of Mont St Baudille. This is a hard walk of about 12 km, starting with a steep climb of 500 m over the first 3 km.

We have talked for some time of the possibility of doing the circular walk to the top of Mont St Baudille (alt. 848 m). The walk entails four sections, each about 3 km long. The first includes all the climbing, rising about 500 m, on stony paths, some of which are quite steep. The second and fourth sections are both gently downhill, one on tracks, the other on a road. The main descent section is again on paths, often stony and occasionally steep. There are excellent views from many points on this walk, particularly at the summit. The plateau section can have a good display of spring flowers, jonquils, tulips, orchids and ornithogalums.

The last half kilometer of the ascent is the steepest and most difficult, with a lot of clambering up stone steps. It is also the most exposed (being on the ridge just below the summit) and can feel quite dangerous in high winds, so it is not advisable to undertake this walk in storm or gale conditions (unless you are very experienced).

The weather is expected to be mostly sunny (after overnight rain) and quite windy. The air temperature is around 15 degrees, so it will feel warm out of the wind but with a significant chill factor in the exposed sections, particularly on the top of the mountain.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk will start from the Font du Griffe on the D122 beyond Arboras, at about 10:45. We should be back in Lodeve by about 16:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 12 km, 500 m climb
Bring: Good shoes, wind and sun protection, snack

2 May 2019 – Cantercel


2019-04-28 17-28-56

The recent cooler weather has extended the spring flowers this year, so there are still jonquils around as well as the slightly later flowers. This week we will visit the Cantercel area, above La Vacquerie, which is one of the best places for wild irises. There are still lots of jonquils (though not quite as dense as last year), the asphodels are starting to flower, and there is a good chance to see some early orchids.

This is a moderate walk of about 7 km, rising a total of about 150 m, mostly in the first kilometer. Most is on tracks (sometimes loose and stony) or on footpaths. The higher levels give excellent views across to Mont St Baudile to the south and Navacelles to the north.

The forecast is that it will be mostly sunny, so warm, but probably a bit windy.
Dog owners, take note: there are some Austrian Pines in this area so it is possible that there will be processionnaire caterpillars on the move.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk itself will start at about 10:30 from the walkers’ car park at Saint Pierre de la Fage. To get to this point you drive through St Pierre towards Navacelles, and just after the last house there is a small turning on the right with a sign-post to the car park – which is actually about 1 km along this road. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km, 150 m rise
Bring: Good shoes, dog lead