Saturday, March 2, 2019

Winter Walk along the Upper Aiguebrun Valley (3h or 4h)


It’s well worth the 25 minutes drive from Cucuron to the Aiguebrun valley (park at the last car park before the Restaurant/Hotel Seguin) to discover a totally new “face” to the Luberon mountains. You will also find that this area has been inhabited by people from a very long time back. A kind of cultural trek.

When you come to the end of the road to Seguin (just before the private road crosses the river to the Hotel), you start off on the dirt road to the right marked yellow and red, going into the forest right here. After a few minutes, you leave the dirt road (follow yellow and red markings) and you will soon come to a bridge crossing the river Aiguebrun. This is a popular place to take a closer look at the river.

The Aiguebrun valley - you follow high up on the sunny side.
Since it’s winter, we want to have the morning sun, so continue across the bridge and walk over to the yellow signpost (just before the locked iron gates to the Hotel – new in 2018), where you turn right up the hill. Follow this wonderful old carriage road turning and winding up to the top of the hill (still a few yellow & red markers), where you turn right and follow an unmarked path along the top of the mountain side.


About 10 minutes along this ridge, you see a beautiful old Bori structure in stone on the left and walking another 15 minutes look out for the next point of attraction, which is well hidden below. On the map it’s called “la Baume de l’Eau and you see a very small cairn on the main path, which you leave here for a quick look “down under”, where you will find an old large water basin inside the mountain side.






La Baume de l'Eau
Walk back up to the main path and continue another 15 minutes, or till you meet another large old carriage road, coming from Apt going down to the river (again yellow and red markings). You don’t want to cross the river just yet, however, unless you want to cut the walk by about 1 hour. You should now have walked about 1h 20min and cutting down over the river here will only leave you another 1h 40min back to the car.






Waterfall just before you turn around high up in the Aigubrun Valley.
Walking on this old carriage road down towards the river, take the first major path on the left after only a few minutes. You are now entering a wild life protected area and follow the path parallel to the river. Take the second right hand path after about 10 minutes, and you will soon join the path next to the river Aiguebrun. After only about 5 minutes, you will pass a 2 meter water fall and just afterwards, there is a large area of the river where you can pass over (often dry here, but could be lots of water just after rain fall).



Sivergues
Just after the river crossing, you get to a large grass field and you see a sign post. Take the path going up the wooden steps to the right up the hill and start walking back down the river. This is quite a nice old road and after 10 minutes you meet a second sign post. Here you turn right (or rather straight on) and continue further downstream until the main path turns sharp right down to the river. Walk down and cross the river at the bottom (you might want a stick to better balance on the rocks).



Chantebelle between Sivergues and Seguin.
You are now back on the lower path along the river (right side) and you follow this close to the river till you join up with the large old carriage road (yellow and red markers). You will soon come down to a place where it is easy to cross the river for the last time. From here, just follow the red & yellow markers first down the river a short bit, then turning left up to the small village of Sivergues where you will be in less than 30 minutes from the river crossing.





Still inhabited house just after Chantebelle.
Since this is a winter walk, I don’t take any of the paths marked for Seguin from here. They are excelent for summer because they follow closely the river almost all the way back to the car. For more sun shine, however, follow the lowest tarmac road leaving Sivergues going almost south. It will be marked for Chantebelle, perhaps in places. You follow the tarmac road in winding turns, but the tarmac stops after 15 minutes. After about 30 minutes leaving Sivergues, you walk into Chantebelle and you see an old big flat sign telling you to turn right down this track for Seguin. You now starts on perhaps some of the the nicest parts of this road as it is turning and winding its way back to Seguin. After about 25 minutes you meet up with the dirt road that you were on this morning, so just follow this down to the car.




Basic information:

Duration:       4h (without lunch break)
Distance:      12 km.
Ascent:         300 m
Difficulty:      Medium (river crossings, read text)
Start/finish:   Auberge Hotel Restaurant Seguin
Map:             IGN 3243 OT (1cm=250 m)


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