This week we will do the walk on the southern edge of the Guilhaumard plateau (as most years), where there is a good range of wild flowers. With luck we will see Daffodils, Tulips, Fritillaires, Pasque flowers, perhaps La Dame a Onze Heures, and more early orchids.
This is a walk of about 7 km, mostly flat though with one short climb in the middle. The first 2 km section is on a quiet road, and the rest on tracks and footpaths, occasionally stony. This area has few pine trees, so processionnaire caterpillars should not be a problem. The forecast is for a windy day with some cloud, not a hot day!
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 10:40, from a parking area at La Frayssinede, at the beginning of the road that leads from the D493 towards Mas Reynal and Canals. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.
Distance: 7 km, climb 50 m
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.
Distance: 8 km, 150 m rise
Bring: Snack, dog lead
This is a circular walk of about 8 km starting at Les Salces and climbing up about 200 m, on small tracks and paths.
Note that this is NOT the longer and more difficult walk that was discussed last week.
This is a walk around the hillsides above St. Privat and Les Salces, where there are many wild flowers at the moment. The walk starts at Les Salces, and then proceeds West past St. Privat, before returning by a higher route, via Pioch Redon. It does involve some ascents, though generally on good tracks, and the overall distance is about 8 km.
As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 09:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the car park in Les Salces at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.
Distance: 8 km
Climb: ~200 m
A circular walk on the Guilhaumard Plateau, near La Bastide des Fonts
It looks as though this will be a good year for wild flowers, so this week we will repeat a walk that we did at the same time last year. We should see some early orchids, pasque flowers, and fritillaires (very localised, but profuse this year).
The walk starts from a parking area near the start of the turning towards Canals, a couple of kilometers after La Bastide des Fonts. We walk for a couple of kilometers along the (very quiet) D493 to the Pas de Licous, and then follow a circuit of tracks across the plateau. The route goes up and down a bit and is sometimes stony underfoot, but is not difficult, with a total length of about 7 km.
As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, for departure at 10:00. The walk should start from the parking area at about 10:40. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.
Distance: 7 km
A circular walk past the Bergerie d’Autignac, at the edge of the escarpment above Soubès.
View towards Soubes
The forecast for Thursday is rather uncertain, with Meteo France expecting showers all day, and the BBC saying that overnight rain will have passed by the morning.
Jonquils at Bergerie d’Autignac
If the weather is OK we will undertake this circular walk on the edge of the plateau above Soubès. This is an area with lots of wild flowers. In a couple of weeks the asphodels and iris will appear, followed by orchids, but the daffodils (Jonquils) are already in flower. There are excellent views at various points round the walk, past Soubès to Lodève, and down to Gourgas.
The walk is about 7 km, all on good tracks, but more than half is uphill, usually quite gentle. We will stop for a snack when we get to the upper level of the walk (about two thirds of the way round).
To get to the starting point for this walk we need to drive about 3 km on a dirt road from Soubès. The road quality if generally good, but it is steep and precipitous in places, not for the faint-hearted, weak suspension or flagging engines. I suggest that all drivers meet in Lodève so that we can go in convoy to the start.
As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 09:50, ready to leave at 10:00. We should be back in Lodève by 14:00.
Distance: ~7 km
This week we will do the walk around Cantercel, above La Vacquerie, visiting the Bergerie de Tedenat, as we do most years. This is a good area to look for wild flowers at various times of the year, and at this time we should find Jonquils and Irises, and perhaps Wild Tulips.
The weather is forecast to be dry and sunny, with little wind, so the sun will probably be hot. The walk is about 7km, on a mixture of tracks and paths, not flat, but without any serious climbing. Don’t forget to bring some refreshment and a snack.
As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50 for a start at 10:00. The walk will depart from the parking area at the beginning of the track up to Cantercel from the D9 (between La Vacquerie and the Col du Vent), at about 10:40. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.
Several questions on this walk. How did the boat get to the top of the hill? What happened to Hugo, the new dog? (We found him back at the cars at the start of the walk).
This walk was a variant of one that we had done before, around the Cantercel area of the plateau above La Vacquerie. We didn’t go around the experimental archaeological site at Cantercel as we had been that way before and were more interested in wild flowers.
Distance: 6 km, gently uphill for most of the first half, climbing about 150m.
Photos: Marlene, Andrew