4 May 2017 – Flowers around Les Salces

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.

Leader: Ben
Distance: 8 km
Climb: ~200 m

27 April 2017 – Wild flowers on the Guilhaumard

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.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 7 km

23 March 2017 – Bergerie d’Autignac

A circular walk past the Bergerie d’Autignac, at the edge of the escarpment above Soubès.

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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.

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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.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~7 km

14 April 2016 – Wild Flowers at Cantercel

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.

Leader: Andrew

Distance: 7km

28 May 2015 – Walk around Cantercel

Boat

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).

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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.

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Distance: 6 km, gently uphill for most of the first half, climbing about 150m.

Leader: Andrew

Photos: Marlene, Andrew

21st May 2015 – Orchid walk from Canals

This was a circular walk from Canals on the Guihaumard plateau, similar to one we had done several times before, an easy walk of about 6km, on paths and tracks in open country. Canals trackIt included an area where many varieties of orchids can be found (as well as other flowers). On the day the wind was strong, so it was very cold in the (many) exposed areas. In addition, the vegetation was lush and a track shown clearly on the maps did not exist on the ground so we had to strike out around fields of growing crops to join two sections of the walk.

Purple OrchidSpider OrchidAt the orchid area we found many species, though some found it too cold to stop and examine them in detail. Purple and Military orchids (and their hybrids) were the most common, but we identified about 10 different varieties in all – a rewarding outcome, though in a good year you would expect to find a lot more. anemoneIn addition, we found a hillside covered with purple anemonies (Pasque flowers).

Distance: 6km

Leader and Commentary: Andrew

Pictures: Andrew and Phyl

7 May 2015 – From Lieuran Cabrieres

Scenic view

A lovely walk to do in May when the wild flowers are out.
Broomwild flowers

Views in all directions over the broom to the hills in the distance – Canigou (if you looked carefully!), Sete, Pic de Vissou, Mont Liausson etc. A time to walk and talk, take in the scenery, enjoy the picnic.

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The walk is waymarked but occasionally the waymarks are elusive!

Distance: 8 km
Leader: Celia
Thanks to Mike for the photos

Details of the walk can be found here