A Cévennes panorama

Hiking distance : 20.5 km ; Hiking time : 06:00
la cabane
la cabane

This hiking trail starts from a spot in Saint-Sebastien d’Aigrefeuille about 9 km from Alès in the lower Cévennes. The starting location is not in the centre of the village, but on a side road near the Amous river at the bottom edge of the Carnoulès lead mine. We start with a pretty stroll upstream along the Amous river, which is flowing with clean water in February. The Amous river, downstream from the starting point flows through the famous Anduze Bamboo park (La Bambouseraie) in Générargues. The Amous then spills into the Gardon river about 2 km from Anduze. We’ll see later why this is of interest… Continue reading “A Cévennes panorama”

GPS trackers and altitude

All hikes start from the iron cross of Gattigues
Any attempt to get a good fix on cumulative climbing using GPS devices (handhelds, or smartphones) is fraught with error. Anyone who has used these GPS tracking devices knows that, while longitude and latitude are quite accurate, the altitude measurements at any given point vary from accurate to completely off the mark. GPS chip quality, embedded software and various external factors affect these readings. Walking at the base of a steep limestone cliff will cut out half of the sky and half of the satellite readings. Walking through a wet forest under wet leafy trees degrades the signals too. And there might be times when military services move the geopositioned satellites to serve a military purpose thereby degrading consumer level accuracy. So in this article, I compare a couple different apps to the Garmin GPSMap 64s to see if there are any conclusions. Continue reading “GPS trackers and altitude”

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”