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Gorges du Trèvesel and de la Jonte

Luckily, the quiet, small village of Nant had a fuel station and we spent a comfortable night in the deserted, free, community carpark. We had coffee at the local cafe, also serving as the boulangerie since the baker is on holiday. We refilled with diesel, put some air in the tyres and visited the tourist office to pick up a local map showing the best local scenic road routes. Although a bit overcast, the area looked interesting enough to stay a little longer.

Leaving Nant at 1200 we drove up a steep winding road to the mediaeval village of Cantobré, clinging onto the edge of a cliff 100m above the confluence of the Dourbie and Trèvezel valleys. There were about 30 houses, almost completely deserted at this time of year. Five eagles were circling high above. We continued our drive through the Gorges du Trèvesel with a lunch stop at the waterfall before Camprieu, testing out the ‘beurre en truffe’ made by a local butcher with scrambled eggs – delicious! Driving on we looked across to the 800m chasm of the Abîme de Bramabiau, in a gathering mist. We’d climbed 1200m up the side of the gorge with a significant drop in temperature! After stopping to do some shopping at a local independent supermarket in Meyrueis, including stocking up on some local beers and wine, we continued through the Gorges de la Jonte with more spectacular cliffs and an arch high up with more birds of prey circling. 

Sadly the rain persisted and it became quite misty as we wondered where to stop for the night, knowing there were few options apart from returning to Millau or Nant. By chance, at Saint-Pierre-des-Tripiers we came across the ‘Maison des Vautours’, a deserted visitor centre with large carpark tucked away at the side of the road. One other camper van had clearly decided to stop overnight, so we parked up equally hidden from the road and hoped to see vultures in the morning. After becoming extinct in France, they were re-released in the Gorges de la Jonte in the 1970’s. We enjoyed supper, sampling the local beers.