Day 3 – Gardon Valley and the Pont du Gard

We travel to the village of Collias by car, which takes us approximately 45 minutes away. We enter the deep karst canyon right away and walk upstream. Within a few minutes I begin to feel my feet for the first time.They hurt with every step but it’s not too bad with a bit of padding. The limestone rocks that rise up steeply and the many natural caves within them are very impressive (and incredibly beautiful). We follow the valley upwards over sandy paths, slabs of limestone, and gravelly tracks until we reach the remains of what used to be a bridge.

Mittagspause am Fluss
Lunch break at the river

We take this opportunity and have our lunch break at this magnificent place and to cool off our feet in the water for a bit (the weather is perfect for hiking again: brilliant sunshine and around 20°C). Although I am tempted to take a bath in the river, the water is still much too cold. On the riverbank we find gnawing marks made by a beaver. Unfortunately we do not catch sight of him during the day.

Felskapelle am Gardon
A rock chapel on the Gardon river

Before leaving the canyon, we take a small detour that brings us to a small chapel that was built into the steep side of the gorge. After a short ascent we reach a high plateau, which we cross to get back to Collias. Our path is bordered by a stunning garrigue made up of pygmy irises, rosemary, thyme, rockroses, and other spring bloomers, which is a particular treat for me, due to my occupational background.

Schwertlilien am Wegesrand
Irises along the path edge
Wanderung zum Pont du Gard
Detour to the Pont du Gard

We take the short route from Collias to Remoulins, where we look at the world-famous Pont du Gard, a must see for anyone visiting this region.

My legs are gradually growing heavier, but at the Mas we are able to relax and unwind during a lovely dinner (today we’re having lamb chop) and a locally produced red wine. Although it is still gets very cold in the evenings, we do not really mind as we are all tired from the day’s hike and too weary for anything but sleep.

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