After Lodève, we only stayed on the GR653 for an hour or so, then took the more direct GR7 as far as la Tour-sur-Orb. While the countryside was beautiful and varied, the dearth of both restauration and accommodation through the mountains of the High Languedoc convinced us that we could not continue on either of the GRs. Instead we diverged to Bédarieux and took the low road between these mountains and the Black Mountain to the south.
We followed the road as far as Olargues, then had a great stroke of luck in finding the Piste Verte, an abandoned railway line, which took us the rest of the way, past Saint-Pons-de-Thomières to Labastide-Rouairoux, and beyond.
The département of Hérault intends to restore the remaining section of the old railway line, so that walkers will be able to go all the way from Bédarieux to Mazamet on it. The progress of this work may be checked on the Voie Verte website
Day 10: Lodève to Bédarieux
Day 11: Bédarieux to Olargues
Day 12: Olargues to St-Pons-de-Thomieres