Looking down to the dam we had hiked up from
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
Today was an early start as the morning forecast for the other side of the valley looked good and we decided to drive up the road to Deborance and park just below the Lac de Godey. This is the first time we have been up this way and the road is fantastic, a winding single lane a lot of the way, hewn out of the side of the southern slopes of Mt Gond and goes through a classic tunnel with many stone windows across to the opposite side of the narrow but deep valley to Mont a Cavouére. We were slightly delayed as the lines in the tunnel were bing repainted! Looked nice and bright when we returned.
We decided to do an anti-clockwise loop from the barrage up to Poteu des Etales, a narrow cleft in the cliff line, 650m above the lake and take it from there. We were glad for the shade in the Forêt de Mombas as it was a warm morning ring. Found some wild raspberries to go with our late fruit breakfast on the way up which were yummy. After crossing La Lixerne river the path became very steep, and tricky due to the erosion. So very happy that we found a new walking stick in the bushes by the river crossing to help me on the way back down. Lovely tracking pole the person who lost it must have been mightily pissed off….
After climbing up about 250m in elevation we got to the start of the climb through the cleft. Very glad for the handholds, chains, ropes and ladders to aid our ascent. The views were outstanding and when we popped out the top we were both happy to keep going, after a small chicken sarnie! We had a couple of options and decided to take the path above the cliff line towards the Cabane de Prarochet. Hiked for about 1.5km and got to 2,300m where we found a nice sheltered lunch spot and decided it would be a good idea to call it a day. A storm was forecast for the evening and we could see the clouds building. As it was we got down with about half an hour to spare before the heavens opened. Sitting having a beer at the Auberge du Godet, hearing the thunderclaps and watching the rain move in I was very happy we had not lingered longer up the mountain.
Two other very special memories from the day,
– after lunch walking back along the grass meadows above the cliffs enjoying the sight of many butterflies among the late summer flowers
– later back by the river crossing I applied some more mineral Sun cream which attracted a butterfly, sat on my finger for a while and did not want to move. Even when I moved it off as we were getting going after our rooibos tea break, it came back and perched on me.
See below for a photo compilation, press play to view