A Small Taste of the ‘Gorges du Tarn’.
Sunday 23rd April 2017 and ‘Day 5′ of our travels.
A bit of background on the Gorges du Tarn:
“The Tarn Gorges are dramatic gorges running from Le Rozier, north of Millau, to Quézac, in the Lozère department of the Massif Central, northern Languedoc-Roussillon, France.
Following the course of the Tarn River for 50 kilometres, the Tarn Gorges are among the deepest gorges to be found anywhere in Europe. They are also extremely picturesque – one of the most scenic parts of France – and offer several great vantage points from where to enjoy their beauty.“ ~Information source: France This Way
Road trip again! This time through some amazing natural scenery in the Gorges du Tarn.
It started out with a quick dash through Saint-Laurent-d’Olt with its stone bridge and run down shabby cafe, rather dull and uninspiring, so we carried on. By Canourgue we had hit the Gorges du Tarn proper and were instantly enamoured.
These roads were narrow with steep climbs and scary descents, lots of vicious hairpin bends with accompanying sheer drops (gulp!) but so worth the extra grey hairs for the incredible views.
Above is Amanda taking in the scenery at 1000 m while we stop to eat our lunch of local pate, French bread and fruit and getting a little sunburned in the process.
We thoroughly enjoyed this moment and seemed to have the entire area to ourselves until a huge white dog came bounding towards us, looking like a rabid polar bear and frightening the life out of me.
Everywhere we looked the trees were full of these huge spider nests the size of grapefruits that made us question our decision to park our bottoms on the floor to eat. We set off again, heading towards to our next location, Sainte-Enimie
We stopped at the pretty little village, Saint-Enimie to take a few photos and stretch our legs. I was surprised at how many people seemed to have had the same idea and I ended up joining a number of other weary travellers in paddling in the crystal clear, ice cold river, though our photos seem to be devoid of any sign of them, people that is. Amanda, on the other hand, was a wuss and refused to get her feet wet.
We didn’t stay long as we’d still a good distance to travel and wanted to be back before it got too dark, you would too if you had to drive this route. 😀
The scenery continued to impress and we stopped many times to take photos and take in the incredible vistas.
Next on our list of must-see places was Chateau de Castelbouc looking down protectively over the tiny village of Castelbouc. Stunning.
Looking down at Castlbouc is magical, the photo’s don’t do the view justice. The village itself is tiny but worth taking a few minutes to explore.
Then on to our final destination of the day, this was the one I’d been looking forward to the most, Saint-Chely-du-Tarn.
While the village is pretty but very small, with only a handful of sand coloured, stone buildings to talk of, it was more for the chance to experience the above (see photo) that had driven me to want to visit here.
I so wanted to go swimming in this beautiful setting, with its cascading waterfall flowing down from beneath the stone archway that was part of the village above into the blue-green river Tarn and the steeply rising, tree-covered cliffs that surrounded it.
I fell in love Saint-Chely-du-Tarn and would go back there again in a heartbeat. For those of you that might want to do the same and go swimming here, be warned, it’s not easy, you sink up to your shins in the loose silty riverbed, which makes it incredibly hard to walk out to the deeper sections but don’t let that put you off, the place is magical.
We’ll never forget these deep valleys, soaring mountains, geometric rock formations, ancient stone bridges spanning crystal clear waters, it’s cascading waterfalls, pretty stone villages and its abundance of nature, from butterflies, buzzards, kites, crickets, scarily large and bulbous spider web nests and the odd lizard or two and we’re sure you wouldn’t either.
Thanks again to Amanda for her contribution. All photos are the property of myself or Amanda unless otherwise stated.
Hope you enjoyed this post and I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to posting about my trip.
Touch of Cinnamon