Thursday May 26th Ceilhes-et-Rocozels to Lodeve

It's official, I'm in the middle of a heat wave. It's supposed to be a around 25 degrees but today it was hitting 32, even at attitude.

Very hot day for Christine to start walking with me but the good news was that instead of 37 kilometres I thought we were going to have to walk to get to Lodeve all we had to was 22, in this heat this seriously fortunate. Actually we have decided we like these shorter walks so have rescheduled things a bit for the next few days so that instead of 8/9 hour days we will be limiting things to 5/6, it is Christine's holiday after all.

Not the very best walk, not just the heat but quite a lot of road walking and indeed a lot more than my route on the GPS and the topoguide, which Christine brought out (together with new walking shoes and socks) were telling us. Shock horror, the topoguide, the official publication of the French Randonne Association, was also different to markings on the ground, we didn't know who to believe.

The heat meant that the views were covered in a heat haze and that all you really wanted was the shade offered by the trees.

Above Lodeve

First day in France for Christine

The most exciting thing to happen, really exciting in a sad nerdy sort of way, is that we met three people in red t-shirts marking out the route. It was like being a child waking up and finding the tooth fairy. They had secateurs, pots of paint and baskets full of gardening equipment. They were from the Randonne Association d'Herault, although we couldn't quite work out if they had a relationship with the regional or departmental government. Anyway we challenged them about the inaccurate topo guide maps and they informed us that despite it being a new edition, and published by the national body, it was out of date and did not incorporate the changes they have to make on the ground. The maps are more likely to be up-to-date but even they suffer from the fact that it is difficult to keep up with changes made on the ground.

Marking the route

As they had walked the route to Lodeve we had no trouble in finding the markings all the way into town and the Hotel du Nord. Like Mazamet this town felt a bit run down and passed by, which given the new motorway going round it is perhaps exactly what has happened.

Christine writes: John is in good form, relaxed and tanned. The scenery round here is very green and tamer than I expected. The wild honeysuckle, broom and dog rose all smell good which is just as well as John's T shirts are distinctly sniffy.


  1. Princess Christine, I presume? And more focussed on footwear than on horses - that is a good thing! Thanks, Christine, all we want is that John walks on and on without suffering.
    By the way (in every sense), markings in the field overrule any printed edition of the trail in rambleland, and newer editions outdate older ones. So the best is too stay behind the tooth fairies as long as they mark E4. Menno

  2. I'm very happy to be referred to as Princess Christine thanks Menno, and as a consequence should definitely be brought a cup of tea in bed each morning.