Author Topic: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France  (Read 1566 times)

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #15 on: 14:37:57, 21/05/17 »
I did it! My camera was my Motorola Moto 2nd Edition. I'm so chuffed, phots and computers have always been a mystery to me, maybe now Ill improve?

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #16 on: 14:40:58, 21/05/17 »


I decided to have one night in a Gite, very comfortable and just 300m from a bar. Perfect.

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #17 on: 14:47:26, 21/05/17 »


I'm on a roll now. Two villages, so near and yet so far if walked. The gite was in the village to the right. The village on the left was where I had a lunchtime meal and then regretted having day time wine!

alewife

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #18 on: 16:08:18, 21/05/17 »
Well done on mastering the mystery that is posting pics on here. Great pics, make me feel homesick (though have never actually lived there ;D ).
Alewife


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gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #19 on: 16:35:22, 21/05/17 »
Thanks Alewife, yes its a beautiful area, few people until Castellane, which I then stayed at for a few days. Once I awoke from my camp, George kindly drove me back to the base of Rougon which is les Lauves, the point where the gorge walk starts or finishes, the Point Sublime. I decided it would be my finish, so I hiked to la Palud sur Verdon to stay the night. Only a small place but I had a great time, drinking, eating and meeting climbers. Sometimes I wish people wouldn't buy me drinks because the next morning I had a BIG hangover!

I had already determined that this was going to be the day when I would walk at the bottom of the Gorge du Verdun, it would take about 6 hours, so I was told. I set off from the village and the first few kilometers was roadwalking, it was so very hot and sunny. Eventually I came to my starting point, the Chalet de Maline, its a bar, a place to eat and a good resting point. My feet at this point were burning! I think the walk I was just about to start is called the Sentier Blanc Martel.

I'd thought about hiking this walk for years. My wife and I drove to the area in the 80s and although we explored the area we did little walking, I always told myself that one day I would be back.

The Chalet de Maline starting point for me was the right decision, it meant that I was going to walk towards les Lauves, which had a bar, hotel/restaurant and a camp site nearby. If I had walked from Rougon to the Chalet de Maline I would have found nothing else there other than this building and a Gite next door but I did not inquire about it. I stopped for a while, massaged and cooled my feet and had a couple of cups of coffee, some apple tart and cream before setting off.

An hour later and I was ready!

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #20 on: 16:42:24, 21/05/17 »


The Chalet Le Maline, the start of the walk back to the Point Sublime.



The warning is useful, the walk proved to be demanding and intersting.

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #21 on: 21:06:19, 21/05/17 »
An interesting and impressive walk. It was a hot day and I decscended on a zig zagging rocky path. I thought I would end up by the rivers edge at the bottome and walk alongside its bank. No, it didn't happen like that. The path stayed a fair distance away from the river and was undulating, through small woods, rocky boulder areas and up and downhill. Boy, it was hot down there. I walked and walked catching one vista after another and high cliffs towering above me. Eventually, I came to a real upward path, I was perspiring from head to toe. At the top of this steep hill, the cliffs were still way above me even after I made this climb. I then had to descend down a long metal step system, put there by the local authority. I counted about 250 steps and then gave up, I'm sure there are about 400 of them and every so often a small rest area. Being May it wasn't too busy but in July I bet its mayhem, some going up others going down!




gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #22 on: 21:09:13, 21/05/17 »
Sorry, I've got out of sequence. The sky picture was when I arrived at Riez a few days later, it was a brilliantly sunny morning, the are was still and I had to walk through clouds of dandelion spores, hence the white specks, for a while I was covered in them. It was a very odd experience.

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #23 on: 21:12:48, 21/05/17 »


This is a view, looking up. I wasn't even half way when I took this.

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #24 on: 21:16:17, 21/05/17 »


There were two or three places like this, obviously thousands of years ago I presume this curve was made by the river water, now its the footpath, the river itself is far below to my right.

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #25 on: 21:21:20, 21/05/17 »


This was good fun. Very necessary to have a torch, if anyone fancies hiking this gorge route, please remember to have one with you. I had to walk through two unlit old miners tunnels, the first about 300m then the longest one nearly a kilometer I think. Very dark and in places water dripping through the ceiling as well. If you have kids they would be scared and exited all at the same time!

gunwharfman

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #26 on: 21:32:00, 21/05/17 »
After the second tunnel I walk on a soon came to the end of the walk, up some stone steps and rested for a while in a car park. I was really done in! If you are ever in the area please ensure you don't miss this hike, you would never forgive yourself!

After a while I knew I had to climb up again, a sign said 15 minutes to the top so off I plodded. It seemed to be a lot longer but eventually the path forked. I turned right because it said , bar up ahead! I clambered up and then heard cars and there right in front of me was a small pizza/bar. What an ending, the owner saw me coming up the bank and he shouted "Beer, Monsieur?". I nodded and waved and said "Oui, Oui" He knew my need!

I downed two large beers, wonderful!

So for me, now what. I decided to hitch back to Castellane. 20 mins later and my tarp was up. I had a shower and it wasn't long before I strolled into town and had a meal, plus wine. I slept very well that night.

Jac

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #27 on: 21:33:04, 21/05/17 »
This was good fun. Very necessary to have a torch, if anyone fancies hiking this gorge route, please remember to have one with you. I had to walk through two unlit old miners tunnels, the first about 300m then the longest one nearly a kilometer I think. Very dark and in places water dripping through the ceiling as well. If you have kids they would be scared and exited all at the same time!

Not just kids! :o Up to that point I thought this was a route for me :(
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

alewife

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #28 on: 22:46:20, 21/05/17 »
Sounds amazing. Sadly not sure I'll ever have the opportunity, or the nerve, to do a hike like this (unless we make a wf meet up there  :D ). glad you mastered the pics, very interesting.

Alewife


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adalard

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Re: !2 days Hiking the GR4, France
« Reply #29 on: 09:43:44, 22/05/17 »
Sounds like a great hike through some fascinating scenery and it was great to see the photos too. What a beautiful view to wake up to on that frosty morning, just lovely!


And the gorge looks really interesting as well. There are some similar effects of eroded rock in Chee Dale here in the Peak District.


Thoroughly enjoyed the trip report, thanks for sharing your experiences.  :) O0