The Stevenson Trail

Le Pont de Montvert to FloracThe Stevenson Trail (Le Chemin de Stevenson) retraces the route followed by Robert Louis Stevenson, as set out in 'Travels with a Donkey in the CĂ©vennes' (published 1879), one of his earliest published works. The trail weaves southwards for about 140 miles through the Cevennes from Le Monastier. It is a wonderful walk. We did this walk in the summer of 2006 (throughout the later stages of the World Cup) and enjoyed great weather throughout - I think the only time we saw any rain was on the day of our arrival. After the success of our Coast to Coast walk in 2005, we had decided that we should try a long walk in France - so we did.

 

Stevenson Trail Map

The Stevenson Trail

 

As usual, Michele did most of the planning for the walk, although I did help when it came to navigating the internet to find hotels or hostels. The fact that Michele speaks French obviously helped a lot when it came to booking by telephone, but I imagine that a lot more could be done by email these days. One of the great finds of the planning stage was Transbagages who would transport our baggage between hotels/hostels, leaving us to only have to carry a day sac each. We used 2 guide books - The Robert Louis Stevenson Trail by Alan Castle (A Cicerone Guide) and Le Chemin de Stevenson (Topo-Guide).

 

Le Monastier to Lac du Bouchet

Day 1 - Le Monastier to Le Bouchet

Saint Martin de Fugeres

 

We left home on Sunday 25 June 2006 at 3.20 a.m. - driving to Liverpool airport and catching the early Ryanair flight to Nimes. We arrived to very warm sunny weather in Nimes at about 9.30 a.m. and made our way to the railway station. Here we took the 'Cevenol' train to La Bastide which then connected with a bus which took us on to Langogne. We loved the railway/bus journey and our spirits were further raised when the taxi that we had booked from home actually arrived on time to take us on to Le Monastier.

 

Chasserades to Mont Lozere

Day 6 - Chasserades to Mont Lozere

 

The weather throughout the walk was good - the temperature gradually rising and rising as we moved further south. We tended to set off early and finish walking early afternoon, thereby allowing us to get most of the walking done in the cool of the morning. We met relatively few fellow walkers, but those that we did meet were very friendly.

 

Walking The Stevenson Trail
Day Date Details
Sunday 25/6/2006 L'hotel le Provence, Le Monastier Avenue des Ecoles, 43150 Le Monastier Tel:00 33 471 03 82 37 Website: http://www.le-provence.com Our Accommodation Score 41/50
Monday 26/6/2006 Le Monastier to Le Bouchet St Nicholas GPS 13 miles (Guide Book 19 miles) Total Ascent 2421 feet Total Descent 1956 feet Chalet-Hotel au Lac du Bouchet, Le Bouchet St Nicholas Tel: 00 33 471 57 30 22 Website: http://www.lacdubouchet.fr Our Accommodation Score 40/50 Total Hotel Cost 69.40 Euros
Tuesday 27/6/2006 Le Bouchet St Nicholas to Pradelles GPS 14.1 miles (Guide Book 16.5 miles) Total Ascent 1179 feet Total Descent 1235 feet L'hotel d'Arche, Avenue du Puy, Pradelles Tel: 00 33 471 00 82 98 Our Accommodation Score 28/50
Wednesday 28/6/2006 Pradelles to Cheylard l'Eveque GPS 13.9 miles (Guide Book 15 miles) Total Ascent 1618 feet Total Descent 1419 feet Chambres d'hotes Le Refuge du Mourt, Cheylard l'Eveque Tel: 00 33 466 69 03 21 Website: http://www.lozere-gite.com Our Accommodation Score 38/50
Thursday 29/6/2006 Cheylard l'Eveque to La Bastide-Puylaurent GPS 12.1 miles (Guide Book 16 miles) Total Ascent 2153 feet Total Descent 2128 feet Gites d'etape L'etoile, La Bastide Tel: 00 33 466 46 05 52 Website: http://www.etoile.fr Our Accommodation Score 43/50
Friday 30/6/2006 La Bastide-Puylaurent to Chasserades GPS 7.33 miles (Guide Book 7.2 miles) Total Ascent 1056 feet Total Descent 723 feet L'hotel des Sources, Chasserades Tel: 00 33 466 46 01 14 Website: http://www.hotel-lozere.fr Our Accommodation Score 44/50
Saturday 1/7/2006 Chasserades to Mont Lozere GPS 14 miles (Guide Book 11.2 miles) Total Ascent 3946 feet Total Descent 2346 feet Chalet du Mont Lozere, Mont Lozere Tel: 00 33 466 48 62 84 Our Accommodation Score 39/50
Sunday 2/7/2006 Mont Lozere to Le Pont de Montvert GPS 9.9 miles (Guide Book 9.8 miles) Total Ascent 1109 feet Total Descent 2567 feet Hotel aux Sources du Tarn, Le Pont de Montvert Tel: 00 33 466 45 80 25 Website: http://www.hotellozere.com Our Accommodation Score 35/50
Monday 3/7/2006 Le Pont de Montvert to Florac GPS 18.1 miles (Guide Book 14.8 miles) Total Ascent 2570 feet Total Descent 3356 feet Gite d'etape le Presbytere, Florac Tel: 00 33 466 45 24 54 Website: http://www.gite-florac.fr Our Accommodation Score 39/50
Tuesday 4/7/2006 Florac to St Germaine de Calberte GPS 18 miles (Guide Book 19 miles) Total Ascent 2101 feet Total Descent 1269 feet Hotel le Petit Calbertois, St Germaine de Calberte Tel: 00 33 466 45 93 58 Website: http://www.cevennes.com/calbertois.htm Our Accommodation Score 46/50
Wednesday 5/7/2006 St Germaine de Calberte to St Jean du Gard GPS 18.7 miles (Guide Book 16.5 miles) N.B. On this stage we got lost so did a few too many miles! Total Ascent 2720 feet Total Descent 4070 feet Hotel les Bellugues, St Jean du Gard Tel: 00 33 466 85 15 33 Website: http://www.hotel-bellugues.com Our Accommodation Score 46/50
Thursday 6/7/2006 Nimes Novotel, 5 Boulevard de Prague, 30000 NIMES Tel: 00 33 466 76 56 56 Website: http://www.accorhotels.com Our Accommodation Score 44/50
Friday 7/7/2006 Nimes to Liverpool 12.45 p.m. Ryanair flight

 

Accommodation We stayed in hotels or hostels throughout the walk and overall they were good. Generally they were very clean, the food was good and the staff were very helpful. We'd booked these by telephone several months in advance, having found them using the guide books or by doing an internet search. As we went along we scored the hotels/hostels in various categories (see below). However, looking back now (five years later), there are a number of memories that stand out:
  • The hostel at La Bastide and the hotels at St Germaine de Calberte and St Jean du Gard stand out as great places for all sorts of reasons - maybe the weather, the stage of the walk, the people etc.
  • The hotel in Pradelles scored low, but was very entertaining - we have fond memories.
  • The hotel in Le Pont de Montvert was super, but the owner/manager was very unfriendly/unhelpful/grumpy.

 

Accomodation Scores
Category Hotel/Hostel (See key below for details)
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
Food 9 9 4 8 9 10 9 7 * 10 * 9
Facilities 8 7 6 7 8 8 7 8 7 9 9 10
Room 7 6 6 8 8 8 6 8 6 8 9 10
Location 9 9 6 9 9 9 9 9 7 10 9 8
People/Staff 8 9 6 6 9 9 8 3 8 9 9 7
TOTAL SCORE 41 40 28 38 43 44 39 35 39 46 46 44
Key to Hotels/Hostels 01 = L’hotel le Provence, Le Monastier 02 = Chalet-Hotel au Lac du Bouchet, Le Bouchet St Nicholas 03 = L'hotel d'Arche, Avenue du Puy, Pradelles 04 = Chambres d'hotes Le Refuge du Mourt, Cheylard l'Eveque 05 = Gites d'etape L'etoile, La Bastide 06 = L'hotel des Sources, Chasserades 07 = Chalet du Mont Lozere, Mont Lozere 08 = Hotel aux Sources du Tarn, Le Pont de Montvert 09 = Gite d'etape le Presbytere, Florac 10 = Hotel le Petit Calbertois, St Germaine de Calberte 11 = Hotel les Bellugues, St Jean du Gard 12 = Novotel, 5 Boulevard de Prague, 30000 NIMES * = no food taken - score based on a subjective comparison.

 

Other Information
  • In 2006 1 Euro was worth about 70p.
  • Transbagages cost 126 Euros - I think this was for 2 large bags.
  • The taxi from Langogne to Le Monastier cost 80 Euros.
  • The rain/bus from Nimes to Langogne cost 35.60 Euros (for 2 adults)
  • Total ascent 20,764 feet.
  • Total descent 21,069 feet.

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