10 May 2018 – Mont Liausson

This week we propose the long-threatened ascent of Mont Liausson, to the south of Lake Salagou. The walk includes a steep and strenuous ascent (and descent) of about 300 m on well-worn, stony tracks, so it is important to come with good footwear and stamina!

The climb up Mont Liausson is a well-loved walk in the area. It is measured at 7 km, but feels significantly longer, involving nearly 400 m of climbing and taking at least 3 hours before breaks. The forecast is for sunny periods but strong winds, with the air temperature reaching about 20°. It will be particularly gusty at the summit.

Starting from the village of Liausson, we walk through vineyards for about 1 km, before starting 3 km of climbing, all the way to the ridge at the top of the mountain. From here there are magnificent views, to the north across Lake Salagou, and to the south across the Cirque de Mourèze towards the Pic de Vissou and Cabrières. Near the top we will pass by the the ruins of l’hermitage de St-Jean-d’Aureillan, just before the eastern end of the ridge. From here we descend by a similar path, passing the Grotte de Liausson.

For those interested in birdlife we might see or hear some interesting birds, notably the Dartford warbler (la Fauvette pitchou) or the blue rock thrush (la Monticole bleu).

As usual the we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start at about 10:30 from the car park opposite the mairie in Liausson. We should be back in Lodeve by about 15:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: ~7 km, ~400 m climb
Bring: Snack, water, good shoes, binoculars, stamina

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26 April 2018 – Cantercel

 

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With the arrival of Spring, it is time to go looking for wild flowers. This week we will visit the Cantercel area, above La Vacquerie, which is one of the best places for jonquils. Also, the asphodels are starting to flower, and there is a good chance to see wild irises and some early orchids.

This is a fairly long walk of about 8 km, rising a total of about 150 m. Most is on tracks (some 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.

Dog owners, take note: there are lots of Austrian Pines in this area and is very likely 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 from the reservoir above La Vacquerie at about 10:45. To get to this point you drive through the village (on the D9 towards Arboras) and up the hill. Immediately after the top of the hill there is a small turning sharply back on the right, with a no-through-road sign, and the parking point is 100 m up this road. If you get to the hamlet of La Trivalle (on the D9), you have missed the turning!

This is a fairly long walk, so bring a snack. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km, 150 m rise
Bring: Snack, dog lead

29 March 2018 – Notre Dame des Clans at Salagou

This is a circular walk at Lake Salagou around the hamlet of Les Vailhes, starting along the lakeside then climbing to the chapel and returning by the upper road.

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A normal spring day is forecast for next Thursday, sun, cloud and some wind, and little risk of rain. We propose a moderate walk of about 5 km at the edge of Lake Salagou. The first half is along the lakeside, up and down along a marked track through the ruffe. After about 2 km it reaches the chapel of Notre Dame des Clans, set back on the hillside. From here we climb up to the road (quite steep, but not long) and then return by the road at the higher level. We last did this walk about 3 years ago.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50 for departure at 10:00. The walk will start from the main car park beside the lake at Vailhes at about 10:20. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: ~ 5 km, climb 50 m.

22 March 2018 – Above Clermont l’Herault

This is a walk around the hills to the south of Clermont. After an initial climb it gives good views over the town.

The forecast for this week is that it will be sunny, but windy and very cold initially. We propose a walk of about 6 km which we have not done for some time. It starts near the roundabout at the entrance to Clermont (coming from Tanes Basses) and the first section is all uphill, rising about 150m. After that it is all on flat or downhill tracks, circling the town on the southern side, before descending and returning through the town.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the roundabout on the D609 at the southern entrance to the town, at 10:30. The easiest place to park nearby is in the Hyper-U car park, but you might want to park nearer the middle of town for an easier return. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~ 6 km

22 February 2018 – Castelnau de Guers

This is a mostly easy walk of about 6 km on a marked PR route that visits the ruins of the Ermitage St. Antoine.

2016-02-25 13-26-20.JPGThe weather this week should be cold but sunny, with moderate wind. We propose a walk from Castelnau de Guers, which is just south-east of Pezenas.

The walk is a marked PR circuit of about 6 km, and is mostly easy, on a mixture of quiet roads, tracks and paths. We did this walk 2 years ago, and it passes through a great variety of countryside, vineyards, fields, garrigue and ruffe. The first part of the walk gives views across the Herault river towards Pezenas, as we ascend a gentle incline to the ruins of the Ermitage St. Antoine.

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As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk will start from the parking area outside the cemetery of Castelnau de Guers, at about 10:40. We should be back in Lodeve around 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~ 6 km

15 February 2018 – Lunas to Le Pont

This walk is largely flat, but a little longer than usual, at about 7 km. More than half is on metalled roads, with light traffic, the rest on tracks.

2018-02-15 Lunas.JPGThe forecast for this week is that by Thursday it will be less cold and windy than of late, though it will be cloudy.

We propose an easy but longer walk this week, starting at Lunas. We walk along the road on the south side of the river all the way to Le Pont d’Orb. This is now the route of the GR, and is a good (flat) road with light traffic. After crossing the river we head back to Lunas, briefly along the main road (about 300 m) before turning onto a track (the old GR route). This rises about 50 m before levelling out and bringing us back to Lunas, giving good views across the river.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the bridge in Lunas at about 10:20, and we should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~7 km.

8 February 2018 – La Sure at Salagou

This is a circular walk around La Sure, one of the hills that protrude into the southern side of lake Salagou.

2018-02-08 La Sure.JPGNext Thursday is forecast to be very cold, but mostly sunny with moderate wind.

We propose a walk of about 7 km around La Sure, which is a hill on the south-western side of lake Salagou. The walk is mostly on a footpath near to the lake edge, but this goes up and down frequently as it winds past the various ravines on the hillside. The path is occasionally tricky, and may be muddy after recent rain, or icy after overnight frost. The second part of the walk is easy, and passes the western end of the lake, where there are often water birds to be seen.

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 at Les Plots (after Liausson if coming from Clermont), at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Organiser: Andrew
Distance: ~7km, up and down, tricky in places
Bring: Warm clothes, good shoes, binoculars