Vacation in France #5 Hiking at Baou, Chateauvallon forest

Baou des Quatre Oures
Baou des Quatre Oures

Time flies fast in France. With the past few weeks, I can honestly say that I have done more than I have planned, yet I have also done almost all that I have planned. So I guess now is time to stop planning and see what else is around.

As I am fond of walking, I gave a shout-out in Couchsurfing for people who would be interested in introducing me some of their nice mountains, easy enough for summer-weather-walk. Few people answered and among them Benjamin, who himself is fond of trail running and hiking. Of course, when 500+ m.o.h is high for me, for him it was a small hill as he is born in the Pyrenees. He was kind enough to take me on the first hike, well, actually second, no third, because a week ago I did Mont Faron and few days ealier walking in Hyere / Giens. They were not so “hike”- like, though.

Still, on Friday, we started at 10 am to get the top before the heat.

The trail went through the forest which was good as it meant shadow! We were quite quick to go up, it must have been around 1,5 hours. The top was amazing, quiet and still very cool, but you could feel how the heat of the mid-day was getting close. So we had our water (which I learnt I brought too little of) and our fruits and down we went again.

Going down we tested a piece of the track that Benjamin hadn’t done before and I found a nice ruined house with a lovely chair. It was only in pictures I saw how red I had got by that time – I honestly didn’t feel that tired as I look on the picture.

I look horribly tired and burnt. I liked the chair though it was a strangely cool place
I look horribly tired and burnt. I liked the chair though it was a strangely cool place

The track itself was relatively easy, with nice scenery and also offered quite a few difficulties going up. I did learn the hard way, that you CANNOT go walking 15 km without a hearty breakfast (I just keep sleeping in here …) and a lot of water. I do know that, I have even written about what to back for a hike in a sunny country.

All well that ends well, after getting lost when it was only 800 m to the car (so the gps said), and making a an extra kilometer, it was nice to sit down and go to a cool, air-conditioned place.

Very interesting plant!
I like forests, it is cooler there.
The path is nice yet a bit unstable because of the loose stones. Good shoes are necessary.
Mostly the path was narrower than this, but there were bits where you got scratched by plants with thorns both sides.
There is a small gateway behind the bridge. How do you like the view?
My guide for the day. This was his training path.
The Summit
You can see Touloun behind us.

My third hike was quite difficult as high mountains (500+, well, even 300+ is high for an Estonian) are more demanding than just walking a flat ground as it was in Hyere.

The whole trail is here

Baou trip plus a bit of going away ... forgot to shut the tracker.
Baou trip plus a bit of going away … forgot to shut the tracker.

My big thanks goes to Benjamin for taking me there and to covering my lack of preparation. Lessons learned :).

Now it is off to doing some work and writing, maybe some beach and soon enough my dream to hike in Porquerolle island will be done. Cannot wait.

Have a beautiful summer!

About the Author


Performance coach, blogger and activist.

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