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August 21st Massif Central Tour

Mike and Joelle stayed for a second week, and over the weekend covered the sides of their Discovery with plastic film to protect it from the worst of the bramble scratches. (We have obtained supplies of this film which will available to any one who wants it and will cost about €40,00 per car).
It rained quite heavily over the weekend, which at least dampened the dust, even if it did not make any mud.
On late Sunday afternoon Pierre, his wife Adelle and his mother Collette arrived from Luxembourg in their Defender 110 TD5, and then Chris and Louise together with Chris's son Mike, and his friend John turned into the Hotel car park in their Mercedes 280E G wagon.
Monday morning was damp and overcast when we set off, climbing up the rocky track out of the village and then passing along some very narrow and slippery tracks through the woods towards Brioude. As we emerged from the woods we stopped for a break and to let Pierre's Labrador Max out for a run.
We then continued back through the woods to the hotel for Lunch. During the afternoon the sun came out from behind the clouds as we emerged from the woods onto the high plateau, where we were able to contrast the traditional windmills with the 26 huge new wind turbine which are being built along the ridge of hills. Pierre was rather surprised to see that the giant crane being used to erect the turbines was from Luxembourg.

It rained again on Monday night and Tuesday morning it was still overcast as we set off on the lanes. Some mud and slippery patches made the driving interesting, and we had to make a couple of diversions as timber had been felled across the tracks.
After lunch we headed south down the valley of the Allier towards Langeac climbing up a two kilometer long very steep track covered in loose shale.
On the way back to Villeneuve we forded the Allier, and also on of the adjoining streams.

Wednesday the group visited some of the local places of interest such as La Chaise Dieu, Sourges and le Puy en Velay.

The Wednesday evening meal was an enormous paella, with langoustines, mussels and chicken, and most agreed that it was the best paella they had ever eaten.


The next day we took a picnic and headed first by road to Langeac were we topped up with fuel before climbing through the woods to the high plateau in th direction of St Flour.

We picnicked at 1500 metres above sea level (nearly 5000 feet) with wonderful views in all directions. There were some picnic tables with benches which were errected from huge blocks of stone.

After lunch, we continued to the Viaduct at Garabit, which was built by Eiffel, before returning acros the hills to Villeneuve.


Above is a close up of Chris's protected Discovery, and on of our Waffle Boards in use

On Friday, before heading down the Allier valley to the Gorges, we climbed to the tops of the two hills on either side of the valley, which looked down onto the village.

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4x4 Tours in Northern France 4x4 Massif Central Tours 4x4 Battlefield tours 4x4 Special offers. 4x4 5 pillars challenge 4x4 Photos from tours 4x4 Tracking the Tank photos 4x4 The Battle of Cambrai Mudplug Calendar Mudplug Guestbook 4x4 Links last minute mud 5 pillars site weekends 4x4 Special offers. off-roading, experienced and fully equipped. Land Rover, Jeep, Suzuki, Vauxhall - Opel, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi Mercedes

Site Last Updated dimanche, décembre 04, 2005. 16:26:12