The weather forecast for Day 19 of Travel in France was for a sunny, hot day; instead it was overcast, with grey clouds and mist low over the high hills. Exercise is necessary and I wanted to see the hills, somehow, and so we set off for Lasalle (La Cella Sancti Petri), established by monks in the Middle Ages. This long town (1.7km) has a lovely location in the Salendrinque Valley, and we planned to walk around Ste Croix de Caderle in the hills above.
We walked the red route, parking in a layby. The blue lines will extend the walk and if you start in LaSalle itself and walk up the blue line on the extreme left you will be climbing a calade of the 16C. The descent via the Vieille Route on the right can be very slippery and includes a walk along the busy main road.
The path up from LaSalle, and continuing up the hill.
The path has been degraded since I last walked it, perhaps five years ago. As the walk goes up the hill there is evidence of farming in the past – conduits, walls, shelters. But the terraces of chestnut trees have not been maintained. The trees have been allowed to develop multiple trunks, sometimes breaking the walls of the terracing, and once the drystone wall is breached the heavy downpours soon lead to soil erosion. Dead trees have not been cut down. The path was stony, and eroded, and difficult to walk.
The path is marked with a yellow stripe, and then, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, there are signposts!
At this point it becomes a ‘green lane’, with walls on either side, going along a ridge.
Sainte Croix de Caderle is a very small hilltop hamlet in the hills above LaSalle. (Photograph from very good website.)
The founding of the church is uncertain, but certainly between 10C and 12C; it has been destroyed and rebuilt or restored several time. This small village was affected by the Wars of Religion and the church is fortified.
After the village the path followed the old road down to LaSalle, through a pine forest. The ‘road’ was rough, and covered in loose stones, making walking tricky. The descent to LaSalle is steep, through forests, whichever route you choose.
The Chateau de Cornelly was burned down during WWII, but has been completely restored. And so back to the car.
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The Chestnut trees in the Cevennes
LaSalle and here
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