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A Working Holiday
Chapter 1: We Leave for France
Chapter 10: Looking for Mr. Goodstone
Chapter 11: A mission to la Clape
Chapter 12: Dinner at Château de Lignan
Chapter 13: Antiques and plunder
Chapter 14: The vintner next door
Chapter 15: The rooftops of Nézignan-l'Évêque
Chapter 2: Comes the crusade
Chapter 3: The 13 colonies
Chapter 4: Our curtains are dreadful
Chapter 5: Naked beaches
Chapter 6: A visit to Château des Estanilles
Chapter 7: A pilgrimage to Toulouse
Chapter 8: Remembering Collioure
Chapter 9: The priest and the mayor
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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
Lamalou-les-Bains and the Forest of the Fighting Writers

At this stone hut, the D180/E3 diverges, back toward Lamalou-les-Bains. The D180 itself continues along the Espinouse ridgeline, passing the Caroux summit, a 2-hour roundtrip hike from the village of Douch.
Medieval miners first unearthed the soothing hot and warm springs of Lamalou-les-Bains, a spa that once attracted the elite of Europe. The surrounding Espinouse mountains are under the sway of the Parc naturel régional du Haut-Languedoc. Hiking, rock-climbing, and scenic drives abound. Time to destination: 1 hour 10 minutes to the start of the loop. The loop goes into the mountains and ends in Lamalou-les-Bains.
From the house in Valros, take the N9 toward Béziers.
On the outskirts of Béziers, as you approach a roundabout (what Americans call a rotary), take the road that bears sharply right and is signposted for Bédarieux/St. Pons.
Shortly you make a turn onto D909, heading for Roujan/ Bédarieux.
As the D909 reaches a crest in the foothills, you have a choice: you can follow the curve on D909A toward Hérépian (the bell foundry town) or you can turn right onto D909 toward Bédarieux. Either way brings you to the D908. Heading toward Bédarieux adds maybe 10 minutes to your trip. However, there is a small scenic advantage with this option: you pass through a mountain tunnel, then down a steep hill road with a commanding view of the Orb river valley.
Turn onto the D908, toward Lamalou-les-Bains.
Continue on the D908 past Lamalou-les-Bains (you'll be coming back) to the next town, Poujol-sur-Orb.
At Poujol-sur-Orb, turn right onto D180. The road starts to climb.
You will drive through Combes, a picturesque little village clinging to the mountainside. If you wish to stop and get a closer look at these all-stone houses, grab the first parking space you see. Don't wait. Parking in this precarious spot is limited.
Stay on the D180. You will pass through the Forêt des Ecrivains Combattants, a reforestation project dedicated to the 560 writers who died in World War One.
Where the D180 meets the D180/E3 follow the signs back toward Lamalou-les-Bains. You will enter the town from the rear.
For a longer alternative tour, don't turn onto the D180/E3. Continue instead on the D180, called the Route de L'Espinouse, to the D53, then along the D14 to Olargues, and back to the D908. This winding route across the Espinouse ridgeline brings you within hiking distance of several mountain peaks.
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