Edited Highlights

Thursday

After a good night’s sleep, we woke to a brilliant day’s weather. At that height, it was chilly first thing, but the blue sky with pinky-orange vapour trails was a sure and certain sign of good things to come.

Conversation at breakfast:

Doug: So how far is it to St. Jean de Florac?

Laurie: Do you mean St. Jean du Gard?

Doug: (irritably) No, St. Jean de Florac.

Laurie: Do you mean Florac itself?

Doug: (decidedly ratty) You know, the place we’re going to today.

Laurie: Ah, Pont de Montvert!

Doug: That’s the one!

Laurie: How silly of me not to realise!

Doug: (slightly embarrassed) Well, they’ve both got “de” in them!

How we laughed! Well Laurie did anyway.

We strode off uphill towards the top of Le Mont Lozere, specifically le Sommet de Finiels at 1699m, our highest point on the walk. The way was marked by “montjoies”: large standing stone pillars dating from the 12th century, I think. As we approached the final climb, there were signs telling us not to go up in snowy or misty conditions. We laughed at these unnecessary precautions: the path was clear with markers you couldn’t miss. Despite the presence of a disagreeable and Northerly wind which was something of a snell blast, we enjoyed our sunlit walk and stood where RLS had imagined himself as “stout Cortez” looking at the Pacific. Despite our best efforts, and even with the clear skies to the South, we were unable to discern even the Mediterranean, let alone oceans further afield.

What goes up must come down, as Newton probably observed to himself. We started to head off down to the sunlit valleys when we realised we were about to take the wrong turning and thus get lost. How we laughed! Even my guide book suggests you can safely ignore the warning signs.

I’ve even managed to get through today without mentioning food (or drink)!

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