We were now entering the land of the Camisards, the Protestants who dominated the area from the sixteenth century. After the Wars of Religion were ended by the Edict of Nantes at the end of that century, the Camisards were permitted to practise their religion in relative peace until the Edict was revoked almost a century later, in 1685, when they were once again pursued and persecuted. They refused to give up their religion, however, and open warfare ensued, starting with the murder of the abbot du Cayla in Pont de Montvert in 1702, at the hands of an angry crowd, led by the inflammatory prophet known as Spirit Seguier. This event was described vividly by Robert Louis Stevenson, good Protestant that he was.
During the subsequent reprisals, the Camisards had the advantage of knowing the local terrain, and inflicted heavy losses on the king’s men, but the fighting fizzled out about 1705, when most of the Camisard leaders had either died or disappeared.
Leaving la Bastide-Puylaurent, the path continues up the Allier to Chasseradès, then crosses the Mountain of Goulet to the valley of the Lot at le Bleymard. After crossing Mt Lozère at Finiels, the track descends steeply to le Pont-de-Montvert on the Tarn, and down the river valley to Florac.