Crossing the Nesque gorge

Hiking distance : 13 km ; Hiking time : 05:00
good spot for lunch, Rocher du Cire and snowy Mount Ventoux

Over the past 3 years, I drove the Nesque Gorge highway a couple times. It’s a spectacular route about 2/3 of the way up the canyon wall sometimes perched on a ledge and sometimes passing through cliff wall tunnels. With few places to stop, there is little chance to appreciate the scenery while driving. Continue reading “Crossing the Nesque gorge”

Hiking in Lozere

a top rated book
I came across this little book while in Mende in the summer of 2016. The bookstore owner told me he knows one of the authors, who has apparently lived all his life in the Lozere and spent lots of time on the hiking trails. These authors provide their selection of the prettiest one day hikes in the Lozere department.

So with our hiking club we decided to try a few of them out. There are several hikes in the Florac area, on Mount Lozere, and in the Tarn Gorges. These hikes are close enough to the iron cross in Gattigues that we could get there and back in a day including hiking time. The hike from St Enimie along the Tarn Gorges to a spot above St-Chely-du-Tarn is spectacular, as was the hike to the top of the Puecheral, described elsewhere on this site. The hike around the Eschino d’Aze and the 2 Bondon hillocks (as pictured on the cover of the book to the left) is also outstanding. Continue reading “Hiking in Lozere”

The Garmin GPSMap 64s

Garmin GPSMap 64s
For 10 years I used the Garmin GPSmap60CSX. I used it with Garmin maps that had no altitude model and then migrated to the new altitude based maps. In south-central France, these maps were pretty accurate. The device was sturdy too, but I finally gave up on it when the clip holding the map chip in place broke and it was no longer easy to keep the chip in place under the batteries. A small piece of cardboard folded into an accordeon shape usually worked, but every time I changed the batteries, the chip came loose. It came loose if bumped while hiking too. This became a non starter after a while.

So I switched to a newer version – the 64s. What’s new with this one ? A new menu system that took time to get used to. A new desktop software package – Basecamp – that also took some time after giving up on Mapsource. The maps no longer transfer to the desktop, unless the device is tethered. There is a new compass that needs less calibration. The device seems to be more accurate and gets a faster fix on position possibly due to the use of both GPS and Glonass satellite clusters. There are new maps with a different rendering style in Basecamp – not better – just different.
Continue reading “The Garmin GPSMap 64s”

Bell gables

bell gable, Pas de Bres, Ardèche
bell gable, Pas de Bres, Ardèche
A common feature of Romanesque churches in south-central France is the bell gable. These constructions may have stacked rows of “eyes” in other regions, but in south central France, I have never seen any. All the ones pictured here are single level. While these gables may have 4 or more eyes on a single row, the eyes are not all necessarily equipped with bells. Continue reading “Bell gables”