Monday, October 2, 2017

LA CAYLA, PIERRERUE: 4.7 MILE WALK WITH PICS

Pierrerue in Herault (to distinguish it from its slightly more populous namesake in Provence) sits just east of St. Chinian and is a quiet little commune of just over 200 souls that's not on the road to anywhere in particular. Quarante Walk Meister Roger recently proposed a morning walk called La Cayla that begins in Pierrerue. Six of us agreed to go. On second thought...

In truth, the walk was quite scenic with broad vistas opening up at every turn. And the vines sporting their autumn colors provided considerable eye candy. But Roger hadn't taken this particular walk in a while, didn't remember it well, and so the adventures began. First of all, clearly the folks who rate these walks for difficulty have a different idea of the meaning of the word facile (easy) than I do. Continuous, oft times steep and rocky changes of elevation do not make for an easy, two-hour stroll. Considering that wrong turns and bad choices led to an extra mile to the advertised 4.7, facile went out the window. And the trail was poorly marked and poorly maintained with greenery encroaching, washouts, and unstable scree. But we survived.

Normally, I would link to one of the sites that has a map of the walk. Oddly enough, I couldn't find a map of the walk either under the name La Cayla or the name of the village even though a plaque at the start of the trail in town clearly invites walkers. Given that the trail has been so poorly maintained, perhaps it's no longer considered an official walk and has been removed from most sites. That would explain a lot.

Enjoy the pics.

Starting the walk at the edge of town. First GPS check. A sign of things to come.
Uphill from the first.
But the vistas open up right from the start. And then there's the lion to look at.
I told you. A lion...

The path was not always so broad.
Crosses are simply a part of the scenery in this part of the world. It's not always easy to find out their significance..
I haven't yet looked up the history...
Unlike the US Northeast, road work halts in summer. Too hot. Picks up in the fall.
Ominous sign, consulting the GPS. In this case, we'd hardly left town.
Red dirt and the smell of evergreens reminds me of Georgia.
The colors of the changing vines assures me that I am NOT in Georgia.
We encountered an unusual number of isolated country estates.

And the views...
We don't often see this type of hardwood leaf display.
You just have to stop and look.
Stay right there. I want to take a picture.
How's this?
In some cases, the trail practically disappeared.
How did this get up here?
On an overcast day, the sun lights up St. Chinian in the distance.
When we hit a stretch of paved road, we tend to scatter.
Off the road again. And eventually, off the beaten track. Off the track entirely, truth be told.
Wonderful color!


More for the stone wall collection.
Green tops, color at the bottom. Rows and rows like that. Odd...
When you are at the level of the phone towers, you're about as high as it gets. And at this point, a mutiny! The GPS and the map proved useless. We could see the town and that's where we were headed. Roger admitted defeat.
Those greenhouses in the center are a great place to buy plants for the garden. That's town just below.
Back into town. They got ahead of us again.

Three of us detoured through the center of town. Actually, a commune - bigger than a hamlet, smaller than a village.


2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed that immensely Ira ...thanks for posting .

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Barry. It's nice to know that my attempts to make these interesting work.

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