In Aramon, a village along the Rhone near Avignon, the capitelles trail takes you around a couple of these shelters created by the shepherds and farmers.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Car park next to the municipal police station and the sports complex.
(S) With your back to the police station, go under the porch marked with a No Entry sign which takes you into Aramon.
Immediately after crossing it, take the stairs go up to the right on the dike. After 50 metres on the left you will find small stairs leading down to the church square.
Pass by the (abandoned) Posquieres mansion and then Saint-Pancrace Church. Head around it taking Rue Henri Pitot on the right up to a beautiful renovated square.
Head left opposite the Tour de Brechet to get to the Choisity private hotel. Continue to the right into Rue de Choisity and then onto Boulevard Mirabeau on left for 20 metres, then go right on rue du Colonel Denfert-Rochereau.
From this street, follow the yellow markings.
Go straight along this street into Chemin des Cigales then Impasse du Calvaire. Tar gives way to a path that rises beautifully renovated water tower and then to Calvary and St. Martin Chapel (1).
Take the rightmost path from the chapel, 200 metres down it meets Chemin de la Croix de Gabure.
Turn left to reach the junction of Chemin de la Croix de Gabure, 50 metres away.
Turn right on Chemin de Plane d’Houme which turns left after 300 metres. Continue into the allotments (not long ago this was just a hill...) that turn into a dirt road, passing an esplanade and reaching a fork.
Turn left to the Les Rompudes junction (2), then head onto Sentier des Capitelles to the right, marked with a yellow cross but also marked in yellow!
This will be the only inconsistency on this trail which is otherwise well marked.
Arriving at the first capitelle, head left on the trail; about 100 metres away, you can see another one on the right, undergoing renovation. At the next fork, go left to find the second capitelle 50 metres further on (3) (Le Mourre de Talaoun) guarded by two large cypress trees.
Take the path on the right 10 metres further on, starting on the left path that leads to the orientation table. Continue opposite and to the right for 50 metres on the path down. It opens quickly onto the 3rd and 4th capitelles. Before this, take the left path that leads to the 5th larger capitelle.
Continue the path that goes down and, at the fork, head left to find the 6th capitelle. Head down some stairs and continue on the path that leads to the 7th capitelle whose entrance faces north (which is unusual).
Continue to the left, find some stairs and come to a fork. Make a round trip to the 8th capitelle and head left downhill to reach a wider path at the Les Péroutines junction (4). Continue for 5 metres to the left and again turn left following the pictogram of the capitelles and yellow markings.
Continue on the trail that goes up the valley for about 400 m and leads to the 9th capitelle (La Combe) (5).
Take the trail that goes to the right just above and leads to the 10th capitelle. Choose the path to the left of it to find, 50 metres further on, a left fork under the power line.
Continue to come upon the 11th capitelle (with its rounded roof), and head around it on the left to then go down the path that leads to the 12th capitelle in the valley. Continue the path straight ahead, passing by the path to the right that goes to a partially collapsed capitelle and also the one on the left to get to a junction with a wider road.
(6) Turn right, passing the path on the left instead takeing the next one marked with a pictogram. It reaches a beautiful path to be followed on the left for 300 metres as far as a fork. Take the path on the right that goes uphill steeply and offers beautiful views of the Rhône, Avignon and Mont Ventoux if the weather permits.
The path descends on the other side, head left at the first fork, continue your descent and exit from this road to the left on a path that leads to the tomb of the dead man, l’Homme Mort. Continuing, the trail approaches the 12th capitelle (l’Homme Mort) nestled in a wide esplanade. Continue on the marked main path that sinks into the pines.
150 metres away, the markings indicate a left turn on a small path up the hill leading to the 13th capitelle (Taoule Messe). The trail continues to the right for 50 metres to a beautiful path.
(7) Turn left on this road and ignore all paths leading off to reach the Taoule Messe junction.
(8) Turn left on the road that meets the GR42A towards Combe de Gibarau. Stay on the main path, ignoring paths leading off right and left.
Pass the sign for Combe de Gibarau and continue straight towards Les Rompudes. Pass by the next path to the left and 400 metres further on at the fork follow the signs, which head to the path on the left. It returns to the sign for Les Rompudes(2).
Continue on the path that goes back to the esplanade and Chemin de Plane d’Houme taken on the outbound journey.
Head down and reach to the T-junction, go right on the same path to return to Croix de Gabure. Turn left and, 50 metres further on, turn right to resume the path up to the chapel (1).
Find a small path that leads between the picnic table (on the left) and the chapel (on the right) that descends to the cemetery. Once on the road, turn right on the Chemin des Cigales, then left onto Avenue de Saint-Martin. Drive under the railway on the left opposite the police station to join the D19 (Rue Emile Never) that goes to the town centre. Arrive in front of the Matheron gate, turn right and on the left on Boulevard Gambetta passing under the porch and to the car park.
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 49ft
1 : mi 0.65 - alt. 131ft - St. Martin’s Chapel
2 : mi 1.24 - alt. 292ft - Les Rompudes
3 : mi 1.45 - alt. 377ft - The Mourre of Talaoun
4 : mi 1.97 - alt. 177ft - Les Péroutines
5 : mi 2.18 - alt. 262ft - La Combe
6 : mi 2.5 - alt. 322ft - Right on the broad path
7 : mi 3.12 - alt. 318ft - Turn left on the path
8 : mi 3.32 - alt. 318ft - Taoule Messe
D/A : mi 5.46 - alt. 49ft
The markings are not very visible on the map, but are common and very visible on site.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
To cultivate or graze cattle, stones needed to be removed and, secondly, it was necessary to build shelters for shepherds and retaining walls.
These dry-wall shelters are called capitelles in the Gard, bories in the Vaucluse and Bouches du Rhone, and barracone in Corsica.
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