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On our drive, we stop between St.Didier and Saumane and have a look at this sheep flock. We park at Saumane, a pretty village clinging to the southern slopes of the Mounts of Vaucluse. Hiking boots to our feet, we head eastwards and enjoy this view of the village church, situated at the end of a rocky spur.
We reach Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. You can see the aqueduct, carrying Carpentras Canal’s waters, on which we crossed the river Sorgue at the time of a previous hike. It’s allowed to do so but rather breathtaking. See HERE. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is famous for its powerful spring, in its wild mountainous setting. The river Sorgue’s mint-green swift waters and the coolness of its steep-sided valley are delightful in summer. The ruined set high up castle and Laure and Petrarch memory make the village a very romantic place. A water-powered paper-mill and several museums complete its appeals. However, the locality is rather turned towards trade, with to much concrete and some unsightly booth-shops. In summer, the romantism of the crowded car parks that are not free isn’t always perceptible at first sight.
In winter, human beings and ducks enjoy at best the place’s character.
We go up to the castle, with fine views of the village and the river. The midday break is not the hike’s justification but is yet one of its expected pleasures. To-morrow with its snow is another day: let’s enjoy presently this spring-like sun.
We leave Fontaine-de-Vaucluse northwards and reach Valescure farm. Abandoned and ruined, this handsome building owes its revival to an association and is being restored for a few years. Its grounds are again cultivated and sheep-grazed. We go on northwards, then westwards toward Saumane, but the paths are not there well marked out and don’t match the map, and a wrong way compells us to turn round after a climbing. However, this unexpected “bonus” allows us to enjoy fine views of Valescure dale. Huberaime