Saturday 20 August

(magnify) Valley trail to Vaz

Up early soon after seven. R needs breakfast quickly because of morning sickness. The plan is to do walk number ten from the map that we purchased at the tourist information office yesterday. It is an “easy” two and a half hour circuit partly in shade with a total height gain of 378 m. The only obvious flaw is that because it descends to Vaz in the valley all of the climb comes at the end.

We take some cheese and buy bread in La Ros so that we can take as long as we want over the walk have lunch when we are ready for it.

(magnify) La Châtelard

Even though we have made a relatively early start it is already quite hot. R sets a furious pace as we leave Les Eucherts – she clearly wants to reach the shady part of the walk in the trees above the river as soon as possible!

It is very hot as we descend but soon we reach the river and cross over into the shade where the pace can slow a little. From here we follow the river down the valley until we reach the tiny hamlet of Vaz. It is a lovely stretch on a good path.

Vaz has only a handful of houses and just beyond I can see the chapel at La Châtelard rising above the village on a small mound. It looks worth a visit so I suggest it to R. She is initially reluctant so I quickly withdraw the suggestion, anxious that she should not overexert herself. But she suddenly becomes adamant that we should go there after all. I can’t quite work it out…

It turns out to be a good detour. La Châtelard is a very pretty village with colourful flowers everywhere, and although the chapel is not open we can sit in its shade and admire the view.

R notices from the map that if we follow route six up from here then we can return to the campsite by a longer but less steep way and also avoid the need to climb all of the way back to Les Eucherts and then drop back down again for the campsite. We should also have a good bit more shade this way.

Left:
(magnify) La Châtelard and the valley
Right:
Back up to Les Eucherts

Nevertheless it is a slow climb with frequent stops. R is finding the heat almost unbearable. I’d like to stop somewhere for lunch, but R is not interested.

We arrive back at the campsite soon after one, and R goes for a lie down while I have something to eat. We spend a quiet afternoon around the campsite, and later walk back up to La Ros.