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Distance

7.44 mi

Elevation gain

1,329 ft

Technical difficulty

Moderate

Elevation loss

1,329 ft

Max elevation

1,039 ft

Trailrank

50

Min elevation

358 ft

Trail type

Loop

Moving time

2 hours 23 minutes

Time

2 hours 44 minutes

Coordinates

2213

Uploaded

December 1, 2020

Recorded

November 2020
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1,039 ft
358 ft
7.44 mi

Viewed 124 times, downloaded 5 times

near La Balme, Occitanie (France)

Quiet hike following old pilgrim route along and into gorges and back to rocamadour where u climb up to sanctuary and then 12 stages of the cross. Takes 3hrs 15min.
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From parking by castle church take track between dry stone walls heading south
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Pass an old electric transformer building on left and 50m later a narrow trail veers downhill to right signed sanctuaires (though sign had fallen over)
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Moment later is a trail fork go right away from village staying up high. Go through wire gate and remain quite as there's a silent retreat here. Amazing views into gorge
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Path goes through pretty woodland as it moves away from cliff face. Pass through another wire fence
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After 20 min bit Rd. Cross straight over direction lafage village. Pass vine yard on right. Vines been planted here since Roman period
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Continue straight ahead through small farming Hamlet full of traditional stone houses with high pitched slate roofs
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Pass a chambre d'hotes and straight ahead. Road turns to dirt road
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2.65 km from start reach walk junction. Go straight down hill direction Combe Des Fontaines
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200m later at old stone marker post go left dropping down into canyon floor. 59m later at another stone marker and sign post go straight ahead ssw
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Pass font basse
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U will come to a small country lane. On the left next to this is a narrow track through scrubby grass. Take this. It runs parellel to Rd but few metres east of it
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Around 4.2km from start hit a bigger Rd. Turn right and walk around 30m up road to a small turn off left another minor walk track. Take this it heads sw
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At a very minor road with only hints of tarmac remaining turn right and follow it. Cross a normally dry stream bed and go uphill on Rd that is now a rocky dirt road
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Track curves past old farm buildings and winds uphill
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It's a steep 10min drag up hillalong a farm track. Follow it as it bends left,levels out and passes ruined stone building
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There's a fork in trail. Take the right fork which is main track. It starts a slow descent
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Follow signs here where roads meet
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Few min from sign post a small trail drops off road to right going down toward river. Take this
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River forms a lovely pool here and remains of old waterworks. Stream appears from under ground caves!
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From water area turn left and follow small tarmac road uphill past a house
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Road meets track u were on before dropping to river but this is now surfaced. Turn right. Route is now clear and well signed plus red and white gr markers
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At crest of hill and junction go left past stone cross on roadside and follow Rd down and around canyon
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Road crosses the same normally dry stream via small bridge and immeaditly become dirt track. Simply follow it all way back to rocamador. You walk on floor of gorge tight against yellow blue cliff face. For pilgrims of old it must have been a nerve wracking area to walk with so much wilderness and potentially bandits hiding
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45min from the stone cross u reach a surfaced rd. Go right and walk down road
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As u enter edge of village pass old Mill on right. Take left going diagonally uphill here past ivy covered house.
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Make like a knight in shining armor and gallop through old town gates. It's steep uphill so might be more a crawl than gallop
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Left at first steps and crawl up the pilgrims steps to chateau
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Visit sanctuary and exit via tunnel then follow the chemin de la Croix uphill to ramparts for a view and car
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Path zig zags up past 12 stages of cross

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