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La Vallee du Douctouyre


Woke up Sunday and the sun was shining and the sky was blue, so decided to don the boots and go for another walk.

There has been a route that my other half has wanted to walk for some time. I gave into him and although it is a bit out of my comfort zone of 16km (10 miles) with a few stiff climbs so we cut the sardies and set off.

La Vallee du Douctouyre is a region that is dominated by agriculture. In the 70’s it was mainly apples, pears and plums. I won’t mention Golden Delicious, other than to say that there are much nicer french apples that they do not send to the UK! They also grow a lot of cereals such as corn and wheat. At the start of the walk I even spotted a little vineyard, in the Ariege we don’t have many of those!

We set off from Lieurac, and just as I took this photo of the church bells…they rung the half hour, I nearly dropped the camera!

We quickly crossed the pretty river in question, the Douctouyre, the reflections in the still water looked so peaceful.

Here is the pretty village of Carla de Roquefort with its church dominating the view.

We climbed about 120 metres up through the Col des Escrozes and spotted this gorgeous dragonfly, it has a black body and lemon coloured wings. I haven’t a clue what it is called and can’t see it on the internet so if anyone is an expert….feel free!

An easier insect to identify was this Eastern Burnet as I have seen one before.

There were so many butterflies, they seem to be very early this year to be so numerous. Many small tortoiseshell, swallowtails, scarce swallowtails, brimstones, clouded yellows, frittillaries. We were walking through clouds of them, it was glorious.

We reached Roquefort les Cascades and sat down at a convenient picnic table at this sightseeing spot. A family had spread a picnic on the ground and another group arrived and called “Bon Appetit” as we tucked into our sandwiches. We did not have the energy to walk to the top of the falls or “cascades” as we knew we had another couple of stiff climbs to do. But it is still a pretty place.

We reached the highest point in the walk, a place called Bac d’en haut and had a chat to the locals, very fetching hair styles in the manner of unicorns!

As we walked down the road to Bac d’en bas I couldn’t help thinking how pretty it looked with these wildflowers edging it, they could be Goats Beard I think.

This is the Gorge de Pereille and often spotted here are Peregrine Falcon and the Egyptian Vulture. Today we saw my favourite that I call the dancers in the sky, the Red Kites, three of them performing to each other high in the thermals.

We continued on, by now it was very warm and the hills seemed steeper. We made our way through a couple of small villages and up into a forest to the second highest point of the walk and of course our exhaustion melted away at the views.

Shortly after passing through a couple of small hamlets we found ourselves back the car and I was very glad to take the boots off! Hey…wait a minute, I didn’t think it took that long…..

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The hills photos in particular are stunning :o)

9 May, 2011


What a brilliant walk, thank you for the photographs, very scenic.

9 May, 2011


Tres tres jolie, c'etais une plaisir de voir votre fotos , sorry shouldn't have started this in French I am so rusty, but I did enjoy seeing the pics. Love the one with the church in amongst all that greenery. Mercy!

9 May, 2011


What a fantastic walk, the scenery is beautiful and I would have loved to have seen the Red Kites, thanks for sharing with us;0)

9 May, 2011


So glad "tout la monde" enjoyed the walk and the scenery. The mixed woodland are so many shades of green at this time of year they really do take a lovely photo :-)

9 May, 2011


Thankyou Troddles, your right so many shades of green, the views are fantastic and well worth the climb...
Shame about your car, lol........

9 May, 2011


What wonderful views. Exhausting but worth it.
Nice car lol ;o))

10 May, 2011


It's what I call definitely "vintage" bit like me lol :-))

10 May, 2011


lol ! :D
It comes to us all :)

10 May, 2011


I'm out of breath just reading this.

10 May, 2011


Oh come on now live in the Massif Central don't you? Just a little stroll to you:-))

10 May, 2011


Trddles, Well yes we both used to enjoy walking but my wife is having physio for her knee (ain't the French health service great) and he's asked her to start again by walking on level ground (I asked him if he knew of any).

There are a few great walks here and a wood near my house is about 2kM steeply uphill. It's great for 'Girolles' so the exercise has an ulterior motive.....

11 May, 2011


Lovely blog, une joie:-)

25 Jul, 2011

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