Short excursion in the Cévennes.
It is not “Travel with a donkey in the Cévennes” by Robert Louis Stevenson, but rather “Travel with a smartphone in the Cévennes” that I propose to you.
The great outdoors attract me
they attract me irresistibly….
And off we went to Pont d'Hérault, near Le Vigan. We arrive there by successively crossing Caylar, Cros, Homs and catch up with the secondary road 999 at Alzon. It's a succession of bends to chain, swinging the bike like a dance in harmony with gravity.
It's time to leave this perfect road for a much narrower one.
We leave the Hérault whose winding course we follow to climb towards Sumène.
The road climbs a mountain of stone stratified in brown slates. All around, holm oaks humanize the mineral landscape.
Typical view of the Cévennes with its isolated farms and perched villages in places where one wonders how to access.
Do not be afraid of hairpins, nor to discover vast horizons. We pass the Col de la Coste whose name is surely related to the hill we have just climbed.
The valley which opens in front of us is very different from that on the side of the Hérault, higher mountains, tormented relief. It is the village of Sumène which rises on the hill.
An advertisement that does not date from yesterday catches my eye. Noisiel factory, production of 60,000 kg of chocolate per day, that's impressive! A mason who works in the street tells me that I am the fourth to take a photo of this poster today… Me who thought I was original!
The mountain of Fage dominates the houses of its peak with the slopes covered with a mantle of trees still green in spite of the heat.
The Rieutord, which has its source in the Liron mountain according to Wikipedia . That remains to be verified… another time.
Leaving the village at the height of the Stade de Recodier, near the premises of the “Sumenois sports star”, an unusual decoration of window borders arouses my curiosity. According to a passerby, this installation is due to the creativity of the person who makes wooden caravans in this building.
We continue in the Recodier valley, whose waters, channeled by béals, water the market garden crops. We see salads planted in staggered rows in a wide strip of black plastic, sweet onions from the Cévennes, an entire field of zucchini, among other vegetables.
O peaceful shady roads, how we appreciate you on a sunny day. But where are the cicadas that deafen us in the plain?
Saint Roman de Codières
This is chestnut country, but they have returned to the wild. No one left to maintain the terraces or pick up the chestnuts that fed pigs and inhabitants after being dried and smoked over a wood fire to preserve them.
We don't know which one to take… A short walk would be very nice, but rather around 7am than now in the early afternoon.
I missed the junction of the road that leads to the Col de Bantarde to go down to St Hypolite du Fort. It was my initial project because it is noted by the Michelin map as very picturesque. I am now driving in the direction of St Martial to catch up with the Hérault valley and return via Ganges, St Martin de Londres and Aniane.
One of the countless terraces of sweet onions that line the road and make us regret the excursion that is ending.