Friday September 13 2019
Still sunny, still hot.
Dana spent the day at Le Mas Perreal and we headed out for another hike. We drove to Buoux, high in the hills on the other side of the valley, above Apt. We missed our turn (again!) because we stopped for gas and the SatNav was slow to start up, so we ended up on narrow roads winding up the hillside. Buoux is not much of a town, just a few houses, and we continued to Fort de Buoux, an archaeological site.
The Cicerone guide is very specific about where to park but were wrong about the number of parking areas. We would have done better to park right at the gates to Fort de Buoux. Instead we parked further away and took a trail from that parking lot along the river. I thought this would lead to where we were going but it didn’t. It was a nice path and we walked for 20 minutes or so in woods along the river. We passed below the rock climbers on the cliff above. Eventually I realized we were not heading the right way so we crossed the river on an obvious path but then it disappeared. We ended up scrambling up a steep slope and coming through bushes onto a road. It was so steep that I had to get a passing hiker to pull me up. We didn’t speak the same language but she understood and got me up onto the road. Then I got Steve up. Such experienced hikers!
We were not far from the Fort so we went there first and ended up spending a couple of hours exploring it. We walked to the parking lot near the entrance, then walked in about half a mile on an uphill dirt road to the house where you buy your tickets. From there it is more uphill to the site. Once on the site you are still climbing. The Fort is on a promontory over the Aiguebrun Gorge. It was first inhabited by a Neolithic tribe, then Celtic, then Roman, and finally medieval. There are remains from all the ages. We walked up along the main path, past the remains of houses, ramparts, guard houses, water silos cut into the rock, the walls of a 13th century church, to a roman tower at the very end of the promontory, at the edge of steep cliffs. We had our lunch up there.
We started to walk back as recommended on the guide they gave us, outside the fort along the edge of the cliff, until we reached a very steep set of steps with rock cliff on one side and steep drop off on the other. I could go down them. It was just too steep, and my fear of heights took over. We went back to the fort and walked back the way we came. I mentioned these steps to Kevin and he said there is no problem with them if you have no fear of heights. He likes to surprise his friends when he tours this site with them, bringing them down by these stairs.
We loved touring this site but now were ready to do the hike to another village on the hill, Sivergues. We found the trail and started out but turned back after 30 minutes. Another dry rocky trail and it was getting late in the afternoon. We should have pushed on – this is supposed to be a very nice hike – but we felt like we’d had enough.
On the way back we stopped at a wonderful natural foods shop outside of Apt – Luberon Bio. Really excellent. We bought some vegetarian burgers for dinner and a bunch of things to take back to the UK with us. They had a great selection of soy sauce and tamari, some natural shaving cream that Steve likes, and some other interesting things.
We cooked all our dinners except one in the apartment. The kitchen is small with a two burner portable stovetop, but we well enough equipped for cooking meals for the three of us. It was warm enough to eat outside on the terrace.