This part of the Pilgrim Way really tests the mettle of the faithful (and the faithless for that matter). Leaving the sprawling city of Montpellier took more time and effort than we would have thought possible. We got lost four times that day, although the countryside was gentle and picturesque.
On the second day we reached the Hérault river, emerging from the mountains in its deeply cut gorge, and followed it up to the abbey of the reclusive St-Guilhem, who would be horrified to see the hordes of tourists who mill about these days in his unworldly retreat. The third day was the longest in terms of time (eleven hours) that we have ever walked in France, and one of the hilliest. We climbed out of the valley, over the range and down to the coastal plain, and then repeated the process a couple more times before arriving at Lodève.
A measure of how strenuous we found it was that we did not have lunch on any of the three days. Paradoxically, the more tired we got, the less we felt like eating.
Day 7: Montpellier to Montarnaud
Day 8: Montarnaud to St-Guilhem-le-Désert
Day 9: St-Guilhem-le-Désert to Lodève
Previous section: St-Gilles to Montpellier
Back to this pilgrimage’s summary