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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
St. Martin de l'Arçon & Mont Caroux

Start at this sign in the center of town.
St. Martin de l'Arçon is a hidden village built of stone on the slopes of Mont Caroux. It has no shops. But it's like the Shire in Lord of the Rings: strange; perfect; and very, very cute. Intimately, lovingly restored. Magical, actually. And that's before you even begin the hike. You hike up out of town past a squat water tower, through second-growth forests, up ravines, toward a magnificent waterfall cascading hundreds of feet. At your shoulder the entire time: panoramic views of the Orb river valley. In October, midweek, we were alone on the mountain, even though Mont Caroux is a prominence of note, popular with hikers, chestnut collectors, rock climbers.
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. Just after the road crests at Faugères, you'll take the D909A toward Hérepian.

Midway up Mt. Caroux the hike
crosses a major cascade.
There, you'll pick up the D908, headed for Lamalou-les-Bains. Stay on the D908 (it's quite the scenic road) until you see signs on your right for St. Martin de l'Arçon. Drive up the hill. There's a dirt parking lot on your left, immediately after the Mairie. This is the proverbial "one-horse town." Take the road into the middle of town. Nailed to an old tree is a sign for Mt. Caroux. Just keep going uphill. It's a mountain. You can't miss it. Start with the gold blazes then switch to the blue. This hike is detailed in the guidebook Walks in the Languedoc, which you'll find at the house.
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