This year however, we had glorious sunshine, and every biker in the land wanted to be, or was, out riding through the glorious colours of spring. My DB and I jumped on the new BMW GS1200 for it's first outing of the year.
|Our first motorbike ride of 2017 in Hérault and the Gard|
|Pont du Diable near Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert looking south|
(Click on the photos to get a better look)
|Looking north towards Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert|
We carried on past Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert towards Ganges, via Saint-Jean-de-Buèges which is very pretty and has a bar with a handy, shady terrace where you can enjoy a refreshing beer. There speaks the voice of experience (after a lovely walk along a nearby river), because it was too early for booze, so we rode straight through and turned left at Ganges towards Le Vigan.
From there, passing a group of bikers on the way, we took a winding route up the mountain to l'Esperou on Mont Aigoual where we had lunch at the restaurant of the Hotel du Parc. We arrived just in time because hot on our heels was a group of 7 bikers (not the same), another group of visitors, and then the group we'd passed previously too. The patronne must have been delighted! Fortunately, we had got our order in first and were served before the hordes monopolised the waitress.
Although it was a lot chillier up at l'Esperou than in the valley, the hotel had a nice fenced off garden where my DB was able to snooze peacefully in a garden lounger while I continued reading my (actual) book 'Nice Work (if you can get it)' by Celia Imrie which I enjoyed very much. I travel prepared...
On our way back down the other side of the mountain via Valleraugues, we came across a shelter for observing mouflon which look like wild goats with big curly horns. My DB's friend hunts them apparently. I'm sure the meat requires very slow cooking as the muscles must be hard as rock with all the scampering up sheer rock faces.
After wiggling our way back down to Ganges, we turned off right to cross the river and head west towards Montdardier and the Cirque de Navacelle via part of the Gorges de la Vis.
|Dinky bridge across the Gorges de la Vis|
|Quite the prettiest trout farm around|
|(fuzzy) Menhir de Trivallé, causse de Blandas|
|Cirque de Navacelle looking south, from the Belvedere visitors' site|
|Cirque de Navacelle by wiggly road|
|Fab road on a bike|
|Cevenol village tucked into the hillside|
|Seen along the way|
We got back in time to shop at the Cave à Bières in Montferrier-sur-Lez on the Ste-Julie roundabout, and pick up a number of bottles of IPA from all over the place. The owner is very knowledgeable and serious about the beer, and keeps the bottles in little wooden lockers to protect them from the light.
|Various IPAs - perfect after a day on the road|