There, in the department of l’Hérault, just next to the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc, we’ve got a base. An old friend owns a mazet. It’s a little stone house with only one room, and an semi-underground tank. It was used in the old days by workers, who came here during the weekend to make wine from grapes growing on the fields around. Nowadays, without running water or electricity this mazet is a real peaceful heaven. A perfect base to discover the treasure of the region.
Le Caylar and the Salagou lake
We first arrived at Le Caylar, a gorgeous little village in the Larzac, where we had the opportunity to show our photo exhibition a few month earlier and where we’ve made good friends. So that’s where we spent the next few days after our wanderings in the Gorges du Tarn and up the Causses. We also used that time to visit again the wonderful middle age village of La Couvertoirade, and the Cirque de Navacelles an incredible natural circus dig by an old river over the centuries.
Then we headed to our friend’s mazet. She’s wasn’t there currently, but we had her authorization to pitch our tent under the shadow of the pine trees and use the water from the source flowing just next to it. On our way we stoped in the middle of a red earthed landscape with a short yellowish dry vegetation. Are we in Australia again ? Nope ! This is the Salagou lake, a dam made to control the floods on the Hérault river, and as a water tank to irrigate the area. The red ground is made of several kinds of sediments thousands of years old. We first had a little walk around, before we decided to climb on the summit of the Mont Liausson to get a better view.
To get up there and enjoy that beautiful panoramic view we had to walk through a geological marvel : the stone forest of Mourèze ! Of course, we lost track of the path on our way. Well, you know us now : we ended up in some thick throns bushes trying to make our way up to the summit.
But the Languedoc has more geological treasures to offer us. The next day we drove towards the Mount Caroux et the Gorges d’Héric.
Hiking on the Mount Caroux
Mount Caroux is a vast plateau, 1091m high from where we can enjoy stunning views over the deep gorges on its sides and over the Orb Valley. This protected area is covered by lands and forests offering a dreamed playground for hikers. Although we chose a 11km long hike for the day, a loop going all around the plateau from the little village of Douch.
Unfortunately we won’t see much of the Gorges d’Héric. When we arrived there, the tall stone walls of gorges were covered by the shadow of the decreasing day. We still raced with the solar star before it totally desapear, but our legs are tired of the few hours of today’s hike and we totally lost. Well done sun, well done.
After a few relaxing days in our friend’s mazet, we take the road again to start our crossing of the Pyrénées !
M. & Mme Shoes