In the end, it all sorted itself out, as it always does. We had lunch the next day with my DB's friend and his family, and dinner in Arles with my Aussie buddy and her husband from way back (1999) in Dallas. Before dinner, we worked up an appetite by walking along the banks of the Rhone, delicately picking our way between the smelly dog turds. They marred an otherwise very pleasant stroll. We also witnessed the arrival of one of those river cruise ships - not Viking - but a Swiss company. It was very very long, and did a 360° turn to berth competently at Arles. The passengers inside were all happily finishing off their dinner and I suppose were getting ready for an evening's exploration of the town.
We had a delicious, very jolly dinner at l'Autruche, choosing to sit inside as there was an Alert Orange in force and a forecast of hail stones... I think it might have rained a bit, but hail there was not. Today I saw that the storms had devastated certain villages in Ariege and further east: mud slides, gravel slides, raging torrents, the lot!
On Sunday we went to Corconne for a walk. It's about a twenty minute drive from chez moi, and we often go past it as it's on the way to Quissac, Anduze, Alès, and Sauve. I found a walk in a book that I bought before I was married - Balades: 52 itinéraires autour de Montpellier, published in 1993! We decided to do part of the walk through the Forêt de Coutach which would take us up through the cliffs above the village, past the Pont du Hasard, through a 'forêt sauvage' to a view point, and then back to a chapel and castle ruins which overlook the village. The walk in the book is 11km and takes three and a half hours, but we didn't want to go that far so decided to walk to the belvedere (view point) and back via the chapel, probably half the distance. To show how old the book is, it says to take the PR35, but it has since been renamed the PR47 which can lead to confusion and a heated discussion about being on the right path...
|Cliffs form a backdrop to an amphitheatre around Corconne|
Despite the book declaring there were 'difficultés: néant' (no difficulties), we found scrambling up parts of the path to the Pont du Hasard quite challenging and almost impossible if you'd inadvertently gone with a very small child.
|Path goes up to the right - spot the yellow stripes|
|Difficulté : néant? Try going up this if you're not steady on your legs!|
|At the top. The tor takes up almost all the path!|
|Pont du Hasard natural rock arch|
|Weave your way between the rocks|
It was mostly shady, but still very warm (29°C). Once on the plateau, it was plain sailing on an easy path through the forêt sauvage of scrubby trees and bushes as far as the view point which looked west towards the village of Pompignane.
|View point (belvedere) looking west, Cevennes in background|
|Two 'teeth' that form the top of the cliffs|
|View from chapel looking north|
|View from chapel looking south, note Corconne's charming rooftops|
The chapel was built on the ruins of a castle that was first established on that spot before 1000AD. It is much younger, having been constructed in 1858 with, apparently, a line of villagers who passed up roof tiles one by one to the top.
|Chapel, still in use on Sept 8.|
|Many crosses line the path to the chapel|
|It's amazing what a bit of water will do...|
We certainly exerted ourselves going up, and down paying careful attention to where we placed our feet on the pebbly path. My DB did his 10000 steps, according to his Fitbit Zip podometer (his daily challenge), so we were able to find a picnic spot once back at the car and enjoy our lunch happy in the knowledge that he could have a snooze and slob about for the rest of the day.
I went to pick up my youngest from the station. Hurrah!