As promised here is a photo of the Hermitage at Notre Dame de Lieu Plaisant near St-Guilhem-le-Désert. The hermitage is now occupied as evidenced by the open shutters and the fresh woodpile, it's a 3 Km walk from the nearest habitation but an inspiringly peaceful place. The hermitage has several different names; N.D. de Belle Grace, N.D. de l'Ermitage and N.D. de Lieu Plaisant. I much prefer the last as this is a very pleasant, peaceful and lonely place! (Panasonic Lumix TZ10)
St-Guilhem-le-Désert from the N.D. de Lieu Plaisant path
This view of St-Guilhem shows the village nestling in the valley in late October sunshine. Mostyn and I walked from St-Guilhem to N.D. de Lieu Plaisant (photo to follow) and back via Les Fenestrelles today. An excellent walk! (Panasonic Lumix TZ10)
The village of Douch lies close to Le Caroux at a height of 897m. Despite the harsh winters and isolated situation there is a fair sized resident community. Some commute (when weather permits) others work on the land in farming and forestry. There is a small museum dedicated to the Mouflon or wild mountain sheep and a Gîte d'Étape which serves drinks and meals in the summer. (Canon EOS450D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 33.0mm, 1/500s @ f/6.3)
This photo was taken on a walk around the shore of this reservoir - 26 Kms. The Red Sandstone "Ruffes" rocks, eroded in the foreground, are typical of the area around the Salagou. The lake is used as a reserve for hydro-electric generation and also as a water supply for the Canadair aircraft used for "water bombing" forest fires during the summer. Watching them fill their tanks while flying low over the lake is quite a sight!
This part of Southern France has many Chestnut plantations. Indeed, in the past chestnuts were the staple food providing flour to make bread after drying in specially built "Sécadous" or drying houses. This photo was taken near to the village of Villecelle. (Panasonic Lumix TZ10)
Yesterday, Mostyn, Button and I went walking around Navacelles. The remarkable remains of a meander of the river Vis have made this location a well-known tourist sight. The river now flows straight, over a cascade, past the far side of the village. Usually, such a cut-off meander forms an oxbow lake but in this location the river has eroded down leaving a dry and fertile plain. (Panasonic Lumix TZ10)