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Hiking the Falaise at Lioux

Looking back at the falaise

Every morning it seems more and more difficult to get up. We want to get into a rhythm but it is so hard. The sun does not rise until about 8am. The bed is soft and warm. We linger at breakfast and ent the end, we don’t leave until after 10am. By time we do a bit of shopping at the supermarche, it is noon. Now everything is closed in the small villages. It is too early for us for lunch. Plus we are not used to eating lunch. Our normal routine at home is to eat a large breakfast/brunch and then an early dinner. France doesn’t fit our routine.

Our first stop is Pont Julian on our way to Bonnieux. The bridge is part of the old Via Domitia and was constructed in the 2nd or 3rd century. G finds the ancient Roman bridge fascinating and we spend time exploring. From below we gaze at the intricate stone work and find it amazing modern day traffic until recently.

We move on to Bonnieux which is very sleepy. It is lunch at Monday and most everything except one or two shops are closed. We park along the road and walk the empty street up to church at the top of the town. The light wind blows through the trees as we admire the vista before returning to our car.

We drive on towards Lacoste stopping to rest and view Bonnieux across the vineyards. We head back to the apartment to prepare for a late afternoon hike up along the top of the cliff (falaise) at Lioux which Kaydee on Slow Travel recommended. I wanted to do our hike to the Falaise in the late afternoon to try to capture some of the wonderful golden light but today is overcast. Oh well, it is still good to get out into the countryside.

We arrive in Lioux and park at the main square. It is barely a village. The mairie and church border the main square which is lined by plane trees. We walk a bit on the main road and then take a dirt road on the right leading up towards the base of the cliff. The trail skirts under the stony cliff until a small orchard. A sign points us to the left and the trail swings wide away from the cliff towards a couple of farm houses. The path slowly gains while swinging wide among the farm houses. We are greeted by barks as we pass one or two of the farms. The trail turns back towards the town. Suddenly we realize that we are actually on the top as we walk among the low oak, cistus, thyme and other pungent provincial plants. G identifies more – sage, horehound, rosemary and thyme. Off to the side, the ground gradually drops off until we are up above the town, The drop is now dangerous as we gaze down towards the square. The wind whips through our hair as the gray sun shines through the slivers of clouds. We can see our route down in the distance.

We continue on until a junction and a trail sign signifying an old mill. We proceed back towards our car while passing a peaceful cemetery under the watchful eyes of the stony cliff.

Follow the link below for a slideshow of the hike.

Comments (2)

Kaydee [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Marta, I loved your photos from the falaise! I was there just a few weeks before you-- I should have hidden a note.

How did the hiking notes work for you? Any suggestions?


marta [TypeKey Profile Page]:

You should have hidden a note, Kaydee. That would have been fun to go on a 'hunt'.

Your instructions were great. The only part that we found a little confusing were the instructions from the parking lot to gravel road up that runs along the bottom of the falaise. I think we parked a little bit different. We were across from the Mairie and close to the 'main' road. We were confused by go left and didn't realize we had already gone left in the car. Also, we didn't see any blue dots on the gravel road up to the base of the falaise.

But the part about following the green dots on the top was extremely helpful.

Thanks for suggesting the hike. It was great. We also used the falaise as a landmark throughout the week since our apartment wasn't far.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 8, 2007 5:50 PM.

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