Monday September 21 I drove the road along the Tarn passing under the viaduct to arrive in Peyre, a charming village, fully restored, clinging to the cliff whose 12th century church is partially troglodyte. I strolled through the alleys for about an hour with the omnipresent viaduct, whose finesse of the architecture, all in all, blends in well with the landscape. Certainly violent opposition arose before and during its construction. But the economic fallout mitigated them over time. I bivouacked above the village in the Le Rocher car park, of course facing the viaduct!
Tuesday 22 September was shaping up to be cold and brooding, it was. The visit to the historic center of Millau was quick and disappointing, admittedly out of season. The monuments were not open and the grayness not very conducive to photos. The Tower of the Kings of Aragon, Belfry, here was erected in the 12th century and topped by an octagonal tower in the 17th century. The Romanesque-style Church of N.-D. of Espinasse was rebuilt in the 17th century. I left the city to go up to the take-off area of the Pouncho d'Agast paragliders at an altitude of +800 meters, of course above the clouds, zero visibility, circulate there is nothing to see, and more overnight parking is prohibited. I set up my bivouac on an area on the edge of the D110.
|Tower of the Kings of Aragon, Belfry, Millau|
Wednesday September 23 I left the quiet of the pine forest of the D110 to immerse myself in the Cévennes National Park, here, and more particularly Les Causses & Les Cévennes, here, by traversing the Dourbie Gorges, here, from Millau to Cantobre then the Tévezel Gorges, round trip to bivouac at the foot of Cantobre, a picturesque village at the confluence of the Dourbie and the Trévezel. I visited it on the way up to the early 12th century Romanesque church. The Trévezel Gorges are 30 meters wide at Pas de l'Ane and the road surface is almost single lane! I did not meet any vehicle.
|Gorges de la Dourbie vues de Cantobre, Gorges of Dourbie river seen from Cantobre|
Thursday September 24 I climbed on the Larzac plateau by an unlisted road starting from the D991 along the Dourbie Gorges. It is there also almost single track and bends to St-Sauveur; leaving early I did not meet any vehicle again. Then I followed the route of the Commanderies of the Order of the Templars, here, and Order of the Hospital, here. The village of La Cavalerie was fortified by the Templars in 1154,here. The ramparts are beautifully restored. The village is also the barracks of the 13th DBLE, here, on the Larzac camp, which was the object of violent opposition to its expansion. The village of Ste-Eulalie-de-Cernon, here, was the seat of the commandery of the Templars then the Hospitallers. The visit is interesting putting the life of the monk-soldiers in perspective. The highlight is the 17th century fresco hall. The village of St-Jean-d'Alcas, here, was fortified in the 15th century, retaining its ramparts to this day. The Romanesque church is inside. I bivouacked in front of the cemetery.
|Salle des fresques de la Commanderie des Templiers, Hall of frescoes of the Commandery of the Templars|
On Friday September 24th it rained all night and then all morning until around 1:00 pm. I continued to visit the Circuit du Larsac Templier et Hospitalier. In Le Caylar, here, all that remains is the Clock Tower preceded by a sculpted tree. On the other hand, La Couvertoirade, here, is a medieval village still surrounded by a wall built by Knights Hospitaler. I made a quick passage in Nant then I looked for a place for the bivouac on the road to Dourbies.
|Le Caylar, Tour de l'horloge et arbre sculpté, Le Caylar, Clock tower and sculpted tree|
Saturday September 26th after a cold and rainy night at 918 meters altitude I decided to go to Mont Aigoual, here, 1567 m. At the end of September it was already covered with snow and in the clouds. The road was icy. I wanted to put on my K-Way to protect myself from the cold and the spray, alas it slipped out of my hands under a violent gust of wind and disappeared into the mist and the mountains! Visibility was almost zero. I left to come back down the mountain to have a milder temperature. I found a platform at an altitude of 920 meters and the sun shied timidly around 3 p.m.
Sunday, September 27 in the cold and the rain, without K-Way flying at Mont Aigoual, I went to the Cirque de Navacelles, here, a meander carved by La Vis river in impressive gorges. I set up my bivouac on a platform near the access to the Blandas belvedere.