Tuesday 7th of June Chateauneuf du-Rhone to Dieulefit

Big 40 kilometre walk with a over 1,000 metres of climb so the plan was to get an early start. Had checked the opening time for the local supermarket which was 7.30, so that was the earliest I could start. Really frustrating to find a handwritten note on the door saying they would not be opening to 8.30, had no choice but to wait as I was completely out of food. It was too early to get breakfast at the hotel I was staying at, and there were no shops on the way.

Given the late start and the distance I was under pressure to keep up the pace all day. The weather had deteriorated since yesterday and although it wasn't raining it didn't look settled. Walked for 45 minutes along the road and joined the GR 429 just south of Malataverne. After going over the motorway, which I guess is the Autosud, and underneath the TGV line, I started the walk proper.

Underneath the main north south transit

After climbing about 300 metres it was countryside similar to the last two or three days, oak forests with the occasional clearing. A small wind farm on top of the hill and views back across the Rhone valley were the main distraction. The path was well marked which was just as well as a big detour would have me pulling my hair out.

The first milestone was the Trappist monastery at Aiguebelle, about 16 kilometres from the start of the walk, lovely location, very quite, and I had my first lunch there. Got there at 12.30 so everything on schedule.

Aiguebelle Monastry

Gradually climbing all the time the countryside started to open up a bit with fields of lavender and hay meadows breaking up the countryside. The weather also started to get worse and by the middle of afternoon it was raining, not heavily but definitely waterproof weather.


The highlight of the walk was the steady climb up Mont Rochas which is about 900 metres. Although by no means a clear day the views in all directions were impressive and you could see the more dramatic Vercors countryside I will be passing through over the next few days.

From Mt Rochas looking east

After a long downhill walk through forest I was in Dieulefit by 7.30. Took me ages to find the place I had booked which was about 2 kilometres out of town to the east. Got there just after 8 just before it really started to rain heavily. The hotelier gave me a blank look when I said I had a reservation and swore blind that I could not have contacted them. For a couple of minutes I thought I was going to be stranded but of course they had loads of rooms and were only too pleased to get my business.

Watched the weather forecast which continues to look bad. Shoes get smellier, holes have suddenly appeared in my socks and feel in need of a 2500 kilometre service. Oil change, new brakes and definitely a new air filter.


  1. Add a waterproof windshield to your list, John! You may need it under the weather conditions you describe. Sorry to read about your suffering, whilst I have the same sunshine as in Ghana, more to the North in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Poland). Good luck! Menno

  2. John
    It has been raining on and off in London ever since I got back so you"re not missing much (note correct spelling of you're...)