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A guidebook for walking in the footsteps of Stevenson as he travelled through France's Velay and Cevennes regions accompanied by his faithful donkey, Modestine. At 140km, this route is ideal for people new to walking holidays. Starts at Le Puy, finishes at St Jean de Gard. A great route with a historic and literary feel.
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Unfortunately, the cafe in Luc, mentioned on page 105 (RLS Trail, Second Edition) has now closed and so there are now no shops or other places of refreshment on the stage of the trail between Cheylard l'Eveque and la Bastide Puylaurent. Be sure to take sufficient food and drink with you before setting out on Stage 6 of the RLS Trail.
Thanks to Jon Sparks for the information below.
Page 118: It was reported in 2012 that there is, once again, a shop (bakery) in Chasseradés.
Page 159: The route has changed a little in the region of Balazuegnes and the new route is well waymarked and easily followed: bear left before Balazuegnes, descend steadily, cross a lane and keep straight ahead to the main road.
Page 167: Shortly before the 'major Y-junction' (1013m), opposite an area of bare rock slabs, are a small menhir and sepulchre, signposted and about 50m from the track.
Thanks to Roger Mechan for his information below.
page 72 line 12. '...cross a road bridge over the river (the Ruisseauds Fouragettes) and ascend the hill for 20 metres. Look out for a track on
the left signposted 'Stevenson Trail' which rises to a level path that snakes through fields for one kilometre to join the tarmac road through the village of Ussel. Turn left here to arrive at a stone cross in the village'.
Page 73 line 13...'just after a stand of pines on your right you will reach a track T-junction; here turn left'.
Page 82 line 19. '....In a further 130 metres, when the track forks, ignore the left turn and continue straight ahead on the wide track. On reaching a barn complex on your right follow the waymarks and swing to the left.'
Page 88 last line bottom of page. '...Turn left to pass a picnic area....
Page 176 line 9 '....eventually dropping to meet the D984. Turn right and follow the waymarked signs along the road to the bridge. Turn left over the bridge.....'
Page 180 line second line up from bottom of the page.'....before the junction with the D260. Shortly after leave the road onto a signposted path that runs alongside the river Gardon. On reaching the bridge turn right and then left on the far side to follow a surfaced track.....'
There is now a gîte d’étape at Mazel, very near the Col d'Uglas, and also there are new gîtes d’étape at both Aïgladines and Audibert.
The author wishes to thank both Colin James and Andrew West for supplying the following updated information (October 2008) on the RLS Trail.
Page 72, 2nd para, last line: the D49 has been renumbered as the D491.
Page 73, lines 12–19. The route now cuts the corner. The text should now read:
"reach a track T-junction; here turn right and immediately left along an enclosed track, wall on left and wire fence on right, now heading towards Preyssac. Veer right for about 50m when you enter the hamlet..."
Page 81, route description, lines 5-6. The reservoir is on your left, not your right.
Page 84, para 4, last sentence. The route now goes through a tunnel under the
D40, so it is not necessary to cross this potentially busy road.
Page 100, para 3. The area has now been drained and a forest road laid and well
Page 112–113. One hiker has described an alternative route to Notre-Dame-des-Neiges which is about 2km longer, as it contours around the hill, following yellow and white waymarks, rather than taking the more direct over the hill route, described in the guidebook
Page 122, 2nd para. 'L'Elixir bar' has been renamed 'Le Relais de Modestine'.
Pages 135 and 136. There has been a major re-alignment of the route form just after Finiels to Le Pont-de-Montvert. The new route is well waymarked and much easier to navigate than the old trail and follows for the most part a wide track which is fenced on both sides. The trail keeps relatively high and away from the river and enters Le Pont-de-Montvert on the other side of the valley to the museum.
Andrew West has supplied the following description of the route, which replaces the guidebook description on page 135–6, to replace the three paragraphs commencing “At a junction take a left fork..."
“Take the left track and follow for almost 2km to arrive at a tarmaced lane with a farm on the left. Go straight over on an enclosed path to shortly reach another farm. Turn left in front of the farm and pass through a metal gate. Continue on the enclosed path (walled) and across field to another metal gate. The path, now enclosed again, descends to some trees and turns left to another metal gate. Follow path to yet another metal gate. The route now continues above the valley (on left) with Le-Pont-de-Montvert soon coming into view. Descend to the first building and proceed down the steep tarmaced lane towards the village centre veering left towards the humpbacked bridge over the river Tarn.”
Colin James advises that “On nearing the village and after passing a tin bath on the right, look for waymarking on a wall on the left; this ensures that you drop to a lower path to enter Le Pont-de-Montvert”.
Page 164, facilities, at the end of the paragraph:
Note that there is now a short-cut to the campsite that starts from the lower church in the village (signposted with a “walker and tent” waymark). This passes pleasantly through woodland, so that road walking is not necessary to reach the campsite.
Page 176, line 6. The tip has gone!
Epilogue, page 190, route description, 2nd para, line 3:
"...turning right again at a T-junction (insert: water tap here) heading for a second hamlet..."
|The Robert Louis Stevenson Trail|
|Robert Louis Stevenson|
|Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes|
|First Half of the Trail: The Massif Central – Velay, Gévaudan and Vivarais|
|Second Half of the Trail: The Cévennes and Le Parc National Des Cévennes|
|Climate – When to Go|
|Travelling to and from the RLS Trail|
|Public Transport in the Velay and Cévennes|
|Waymarking and Navigation|
|Public Holidays and Time in France|
|Stevenson's Route by Cycle or by Car|
|Suggested Itineraries for Walking the RLS Trail|
|How to Use this Guidebook|
|PROLOGUE Le Puy-en-Velay|
|Le Puy-en-Velay to Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille|
|Stage 1 Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille to Goudet|
|Stage 2 Goudet to Le Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas; Excursion to Lac du Bouchet|
|Stage 3 Le Bouchet-Saint-Nicolas to Pradelles|
|Stage 4 Pradelles to Langogne|
|Stage 5 Langogne to Cheylard-l'Évêque|
|Stage 6 Cheylard-l'Évêque via Notre-Dame-des-Neiges to La Bastide-Puylaurent|
|Stage 7 La Bastide-Puylaurent to Les Alpiers/Le Bleymard|
|Stage 8 Les Alpiers/Le Bleymard to Le Pont-de-Montvert|
|Stage 9 Le Pont-de-Montvert to Florac|
|Stage 10 Florac to the Gare de Cassagnas|
|Stage 11 Gare de Cassagnas to Saint-Germain-de-Calberte|
|Stage 12 Saint-Germain-de-Calberte to Saint-Jean-du-Gard|
|EPILOGUE Saint-Jean-du-Gard and Mas Soubeyran, Alès and Nîmes|
|Walking to Mialet or Alès|
|Summary Table of Stages|
|Appendix 1 Gîtes d'étape on or Close to the RLS Trail|
|Appendix 2 Other Long-Distance Walking Routes Encountered on the RLS Trail|
|Appendix 3 Stevenson's Itinerary|
|Appendix 4 Bibliography|
|Appendix 5 Useful Addresses, Telephone Numbers and Websites|
|Appendix 6 Modern Treks Along the RLS Trail|