The baldie is fled, long live the baldie!

The business (basically a CRM database) passed into better hands in 2012. These materials remain here for cannibalisation and amusement.

The baldie meanwhile has found pastures new: as a singing organ-grinder for your event in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain!

 
FollowTheBaldie.com: Town and country walking and study tours in Barcelona and the Western Med
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Free route description for 500km cycling tour of mountainous south-central France

Featuring bit of the Cévennes, part of the volcanoes of the Auvergne; the departments of Lozère, Ardèche, Cantal, Lot, Aveyron, and Tarn; and the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, and Midi-Pyrénées.

Posted by admin on Friday April 6th 2012. 3 comments

Aire de Baldy, discovered at last near Bagnac-sur-Célè. It would have been a lot easier to find if the French didn't drop their Hs. All photos © Mr Baldie. More.

This was designed for easy train access from Barcelona without having to dismantle and pack the bike - eg midweek 06:16 regional to Portbou, 09:39 TER to Nîmes, 12:56 TER to Alès, cycle 500km to Albi, 09:04/09:50 TER to Toulouse, 11:54 TER to Narbonne, 13:53 TER to Portbou, 15:59 regional to Barcelona. Altitude ranges from ca. 150m to ca. 1450, and non-brass monkeys will need to take care with winter cold on some of the higher bits. Most of the roads are small, well-engineered, and low in traffic, with often stunningly beautiful views to which the photos below completely fail to do justice. There are reasonably frequent bars and shops, and along considerable stretches there are still (infrequent) trains to help you out if you or your bike breaks down. If you can't manage it all in one day 🙂 you should be able to figure out accommodation - there's plenty out of season. Here's the approximate route:


View larger map

Now here's a list of settlements visited, which should enable reconstruction if Google Maps disappears before this website or if you refuse to submit to the monster:

  1. Alès
  2. La Grand Combe (mine museum)
  3. Portes
  4. Chamborigaud
  5. Génolhac
  6. Concoules
  7. Villefort
  8. very beautiful valley (check the path on the other side) leading to Pied-de-Borne
  9. steep climb to and beyond Planchamp
  10. hilltop moorland and forest leading to La Bastide-Puylaurent
  11. Luc
  12. Langogne (brilliant centre)
  13. Briges
  14. Laval-Atger
  15. Grandrieu (splendid little church, atmospheric restaurant (also hotel) Laures, bar Viviane, Hotel Daudet, whose amiable boss, like an extraordinary number of people, speaks excellent Spanish)
  16. climb through farmland, moor and forest to Baraque des Bouviers at ca. 1400m
  17. gorgeous descent (larks, red kites) thru Saint-Denis-en-Margeride (bar)
  18. Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (nice barmaid in the bar behind the apse of the beastly Romanesque church)
  19. Le Malzieu-Ville
  20. slow climb through lovely countryside & Saint-Léger-du-Malzieu
  21. Lorcières
  22. Combechalde
  23. Le Pirou
  24. Saint-Michel
  25. Saint-Georges
  26. Saint-Flour
  27. Murat
  28. fairly heavy (ski-)traffic up to the col (you can't go through the tunnel so have to climb a good bit more) and then very fast (50 km/h) but busy descent to Aurillac
  29. Roannes-Saint-Mary (couple of excellent bars)
  30. Marcolès (wannabe Disney "medieval" - don't stop)
  31. splendid, quiet, hilltop road via Saint-Antoine
  32. Saint-Constant
  33. Le Trioulou
  34. Bagnac-sur-Célè
  35. main road via Viazac to
  36. Figeac
  37. the aiguille on the road to Villefranche
  38. Tombebiau
  39. Capdenac
  40. Capdenac-Gare
  41. Saint-Julien d'Emparé
  42. up the gorgeous Diége valley
  43. Pomels
  44. Salles-Courbatiès
  45. Saint-Igest
  46. Bérals
  47. Villefranche-de-Rouergue
  48. Ordiget and the west bank of the river
  49. Najac
  50. Saint-André-de-Najac
  51. Montirat
  52. Mirandol
  53. Carmaux
  54. fairly unpleasant and dirty road to Albi.

Several alternatives:

  1. If you start from Nîmes, head across country from Brignon to les Vans then follow the river (via Gravières) to Pied-de-Borne
  2. From Pied-de-Borne, follow the river to La Bastide (D151) - more shade in summer, & very pretty
  3. Forget Albi and from Najac head south via Laguépie to Cordes-sur-Ciel, where the Toulouse plateau begins & there's a TER to the metropolis

And here finally are some photos, most pretty bad and with some quite large gaps. I'll try to add captions this weekend:
Error: the communication with Picasa Web Albums didn't go as expected. Here's what Picasa Web Albums said:





Error 404 (Not Found)!!1

404. That’s an error.

The requested URL /data/feed/api/user/111257672258796628424/album/FranceSpring2012?kind=photo was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

There, didn't mention Robert Louis Stevenson or donkeys once.

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  1. [...] His glory forever I’ll share." Yes, but wouldn't it be helpful if more wayside crosses, like this one, indicated the path to one's home far [...]

  2. [...] I've done the odd chunk of prose translation from southern French dialects to English, but things would no doubt improve if I got out a bit more & got my left ear back. Can I also plead mental debilitation caused by previous pedalling up some sharp inclines? [...]


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