Gorges du Gardon at Collias

Collias

Route: Around Collias

Area: Gard, Southern France

Date of walk: 26th September 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 8.6 miles

Ascent: 750 feet

Weather: sunny and hot 

Yesterday’s walk had brought us from the old town of Uzès to the Hostellerie Le Castellas in Collias, and today we’d have the opportunity to explore the area around Collias, a small town on the banks of the Gardon river and a popular place for canoeing along the Gardon Gorges

We left the town via the spectacular bridge across the Gardon Gorges and turned left at the end to follow a track beside the river. Our walk almost came to a premature stop when we were halted by a couple of hunters with rifles who informed us that it would be ‘dangereux’ to continue. After a discussion in French we advised them of our route and were told that it was fine to continue, and we’d be unlikely to encounter a boar as their quarry lay in the other direction. Later that day, in a bar in Collias, we chatted to a local couple who informed us that wild boar are a pest at this time of the year, when they come down from the hills in search of food and can be a danger to traffic – and humans

Continuing the walk, we entered a deserted wooded valley and crossed an old packhorse bridge to visit a ruined Romanesque hermitage. After exploring the atmospheric ruins we climbed up some steep and narrow rocky steps to reach the Gardon plateau, a flat agricultural area where we made quick progress along deserted country lanes

We eventually reached the far point of the walk and started the return journey along the old mule track of La Torte. Although we were walking along the ridge of the gorge, with steep drops to both sides, there was no visible indication of this and the views were limited by the ‘garrigue’, a combination of mostly evergreen shrubs and trees. As we approached Collias the views began to open up and we had a good view over the town as we made the gentle ascent down the rocky track. On reaching Collias we crossed over the bridge again and retraced our steps back to the start

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