We leave our car at the campsite (Domaine d’Anglas, Brissac) and walk to St-Bauzille-de-Putois. We go and search GR60, which will lead us over nice footpaths to the weir at Laroque. Just downstream the weir is an easy put in. You’ll immediately notice the large amount of rental canoes. Unfortunately the canoe season has started, our lonely packraft adventures of spring have come to an end. Each little beach we spot is full of people.
The first rapid is a big one. About two meters of height difference. This part of the Hérault is class 2 (3-) according to our guidebook, but this drop really is class 3. Charissa choose not to use her spraydeck today and she caught quite a bit water at this rapid.
During the remainder of Laroque to Brissac the river is alternating between class 2 rapids and stationary water. In one of the rapids Charissa gets stuck and takes a swim.
Waterflow of the Hérault: 7.1 m3/s (Laroque).
We raft another part of the Hérault, near Causse-de-la-Selle. The Hérault is stationary here and only has a few small rapids. We start by doing some exercises: Swimming with a paddle, turning the packraft over in the water, climbing back in the packraft when you’ve fallen out. Then we paddle back to the canoe centre halfway between Causse-de-la-Selle and St-Guilhem-le-Désert. We don’t recommend this for packrafting, the first part is much more beautiful for rafting.
Watch out when parking here: 100 meter north of the canoe centre is a parking lot next to the D-4. When we wanted to park there, we saw broken glass on the ground. We got in the car again and drove just west of the canoe centre and parked along the road. There are much more people walking around and going to the beaches near the road. When we drove back, we saw another break-in of a car on the first parking lot.
Gorges de la Vis
We parked the car above Cirque de Navacelles. We’ve walked via the GR7 to Navacelles, via a GR de Pays to Moulins de la Foux and then back to the car. A nice stroll along the river, the mill is accessible and restored. Good to be done on a hot day like this, there is a lot of shadow along the river.
Peter Knowles – White Water Massif Central
Rivers Publishing U.K.
IGN Carte de Randonnées, 1:25 000, No 2642ET: St-Guilhem-le-Désert
IGN Carte de Randonnées, 1:25 000, No 2742ET: Ganges