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Gorge de la Bourne and Pas di Pertuson

6 June, 2015

Starting on a two week walk from St Nazaire-en-Royan on meeting of the Rivers Isere and Bourne takes me from the plain east of Valence to mountain villages two ridges west of Grenoble.

Temperatures are upwards of 30C and debilitating. Paths are brilliantly marked with distances, heights and timings.


Following the Bourne was easy walking along small roads and pretty paths.  There were no shops til Pont-en-Royan and the tiny local breakfasts call for an energising snack by midmorning.  Pont-Royan is a busy centre with fruit, bread and ice cream so I was satisfied.  It is also the entry point to the Gorge De La Bourne which is savagely wonderful.


At first the path is easy and pretty but from Charonche it gets stony and steep towards the Pas du Ranc. It was very hot with no shade and very steep. Part way up the rumbling of an approaching storm caused a rethink as I still had some way to go. So I took the road which was not too busy and had great views and got me to La Balme-de-Rencurel just as the rain started. Good decision.

The following day via Rencurel through the Col De Romeyere was fairly easy through fantastic meadows.


A well graded climb into the formidable rock face of Roche De Meaudre reached the crossing at Pas du Pertuson 1430m with wonderful views over the plains to the north west.


It was an easy descent through trees to Autrans. My excitement was to see snow-clad mountains to the east, one was Mt Blanc I think.

Walking from place to place gives surprising experiences. La Balme was tiny with an old but well run simple hotel with a restaurant like I found in France 50 years ago. With good food to match: trout and pommes dauphinois, cheese and milk pudding. Rare to find such good cuisine.  Autrans on the other hand is a resort with lots of shops and facilities. How is one to know?


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