28-Jun-2005 -- We were staying below the southern edge of the huge limestone plateau of the Causse du Larzac. On the far side of this bleak, somewhat surreal landscape of karst and rolling dry hills was 44N 3E. This is a name I remember from long ago - of hippy camps and big demos aginst the army base expansion and uranium mining. Its a wild remote spot, or was, as the Millau viaduct, built on towers higher than the Eifel Tower has brought a motorway here now, opened in 2004. This is going to be a well visited spot, lying just off an arterial route.
After a morning sightseeing on the causse, visiting the Cirque de Navacelles and La Couvertoirade we decided to make a dash for the confluence, not having any map that far west, it would be fun to just see where the GPS led.
After a false turn in one village we found a road that went withing 20m of the spot. I could not actually get the zeros as the confluence is in a wheat field a week or too off harvesting, but I was able to document it from the road. Later I found a way through the butterfly infested thorny growth (love the butterflies, pass on the thorns) to the edge of the field and a bit closer than the GPS shot. The zeros were still stubbornly out of bounds.. Thats why we have the 100m rule :-)
This is difficult country. The western scarps of the Causse were all around us, deep forest, craggy limestone hills, little open easy country, except this lovely small valley with room for the odd wheatfield, and the spot right by the road. This could so easily have been a tough one - instead one of the easiest I have yet to visit.
The Causse is riddled with holes, cave systems within the 700m high block of limestone. Some of these caves have special properties. This is Roquefort, home of the cheese, a blue cheese relying on Larzac ewes and a certain bacteria that lurks in the caves here.