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Monthly Walk - Balade Mensuelle

AFA Walking Group

Each month Val chooses a different part of the area to visit. With so many coastal and country walks to choose from, you are always sure to find something of interest with your exercise.

September Walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Thu, September 05, 2019 15:42:42

The September walk will be held on Sunday 22nd September. The start of the walk will be at 10 am and the meeting point is on the car park near the beach of Le Platin in St Palais. This car park is on the left when coming from the centre of St Palais and going towards the Grande Côte. It is just opposite the Rue des Tourterelles on the right and is very near the white Chapelle des Aviateurs. The plan is to walk along the coast to Vaux where we can have coffee and biscuits at my house. Depending how we feel we can walk back round the coast or cut the walk a bit shorter by taking the staight route home. Probably about 8/9 kms depending.

La balade de Septembre est prévue le dimanche 22 septembre. Rendez vous à 10 heures sur le parking près de la plage du Platin à St Palais sur Mer. Ce parking se trouve à gauche en sortant du centre de St Palais en allant vers la Grande Côte. Il est en face la rue des Tourterelles à droite et se trouve près de la Chapelle des Aviateurs. Nous marcherons sur le chemin de côte vers Vaux. J’offre rafraichissements chez moi. Le retour se fera par la côte ou pour être plus court nous pouvons prendre la route directe. Environ 8/9 kms.

June walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Mon, May 27, 2019 16:14:10

The June walk will be held on Sunday 16th June. It will be around the village of Arvert. Arvert is on the D14 Breuillet to La Tremblade road. The meeting point is at the Salle des Fêtes in Arvert where there is plenty of parking. The walk will start at 10 am and is around 8kms.

La balade de juin est prévue pour le dimanche 16 juin. Le rendez vous est sur le parking de la Salle des Fêtes du village d’Arvert. Arvert se trouve sur la D14 Breuillet à La Tremblade. Le départ est prévu pour 10 heures et la balade fait une distance d’environ 8kms.

May walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Mon, May 13, 2019 17:31:18

The weather is looking ok for sunday so I will plan a picnic. My idea is to go down to the port of St Seurin d’Uzet (in cars) after the walk. Bring chairs in case no picnic tables available.

La meteo a l’air à peu près bonne pour dimanche alors il y aura un picnic. Je pense aller sur le port de St Seurin d’Uzet en voiture après la balade. Pensez aux fauteuils, il n’y aura peut être pas de bancs dispo.

May walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Sun, April 28, 2019 17:29:31

The May walk will be held on Sunday 19th May. It will start in the village of Epargnes which is south of Cozes between the Royan/Bordeaux road and the coast. There is ample parking in the car park in the village to your right when coming from main road and before passing the church on your left. The walk will take us south of Epargnes and is a distance of 8kms300. Please contact me for car sharing and further details if necessary. If the weather is good we may have a picnic after the walk? Please see this Blog for confirmation after the 13th May.

La date de la balade de mai est le dimanche 19 mai. Le départ de la balade est dans le village d’Epargnes qui se trouve au sud de Cozes, entre la route Royan/Bordeaux et la côte. Parking dans le village à droite en venant de la route de Bordeaux, avant de passer l’église à gauche. La balade fait 8kms300 et nous marcherons au sud du village. Le départ est à 10 heures précises. Me contacter pour co-voiturage et d’autres détails si nécessaire. Si la meteo est bonne, je pense picniquer après la balade. Détails sur ce Blog à partir du 13 mai.

Rando Avril

Monthly Walk Posted on Sun, April 07, 2019 11:15:53

Ci dessous détails pour trouver le départ de la balade de dimanche 14 avril:

Prenez la voie express vers Saintes et la rocade à gauche vers Rochefort ; au bout prenez la route à gauche vers Rochefort. Au prochain rondpoint, après avoir traversé l’autoroute, tournez à droite vers Ecurat, en passant par Varaise. Au carrefour juste à l’entrée d’Ecurat, tournez à droite vers Taillebourg. Après 5 km, au stop à St James, tournez à gauche et tout de suite à droite.
Vous traverserez la zone d’inondation et la rivière Charente à
Taillebourg. Continuez tout droit vers Annepont et St Jean d’Angély,
avec une courbe à gauche dans un croisement après une nouvelle traversée
de l’autoroute. Attention aux gendarmes couchés à Annepont. Ensuite
vous rencontrerez un stop pour traverser la route entre Grandjean et St
Hilaire de Villefranche, et un carrefour moins important (aussi avec une
signalisation vers Grandjean). Passez par un hameau appelé La Sablière,
suivi d’une pente descendante, où vous trouverez et prendrez le
tournant brusque à gauche vers Fenioux. Dieu vous soit en aide si
vous rencontrez un camion ici. Vous pourriez trouver convenable de vous
garer près de l’ancienne gare à l’entrée du village, mais nous nous
rassemblerons au parking principal – pas trop vaste – au-delà de la
pente raide devant l’église.

mon avis, la marche est d’un peu plus de 8 km, et elle contient
quelques parties raides qui pourraient stresser des gens habitués aux
promenades côtières.ssous directions pour trouver le départ de la balade de dimanche 14 avril:

April Walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Thu, April 04, 2019 11:11:39

This month’s walk will be held on Sunday 14th April and is organised by Bernard. It is at Fenioux which is north of Saintes and is a distance of about 8kms. We plan a 10 o’clock start. Please bring a pîcnic which we will have after the walk. Although there is a picnic area maybe bring picnic chairs? Please try and car share, contact me if necessary.
Ce mois la balade est prévue pour le dimanche 14 avril à Fenioux, au nord de Saintes. Départ à 10heures pour une balade d’environ 8kms, et ensuite un picnic. Il y a quelques bancs et tables mais prévoyez peut-être des chaises pliantes. Me contactez pour détails, directions et co-voiturage.


Allow a good hour for the drive from Royan. From where I live, I
normally have a choice of pretty approaches via St Savinien. Your best route is
probably as follows via Taillebourg – a place which stands for a great French
victory in the 100 Years’ War, although the chateau was ultimately sacked by
the Fronde uprising in 1652.

Take the expressway to Saintes and the rocade clockwise (to the left,
towards Rochefort); at the end take the highway left towards Rochefort.
At the next roundabout (after crossing the motorway again), turn right
towards Ecurat, passing through Varaise. At the intersection immediately as you
enter Ecurat, turn right towards Taillebourg. – 5 km on, at the stop
sign in St James, turn left and immediately right. You pass through the
flood zone and cross the river Charente at Taillebourg. Carry straight on
towards Annepont and St Jean d’Angély, with a pronounced left bend in an
intersection after again crossing the motorway. Beware the road humps in
Annepont. Then you have a stop sign as you cross the road from Grandjean to St
Hilaire de Villefranche followed by a lesser intersection also marked for
Grandjean. Carry on through a homestead called La Sablière, followed by a
downhill stretch, where you find and take the sharp left turn to
Fenioux. God help you if you encounter a lorry here. You might fancy parking at
the former station on the left as you enter the village, but we meet at the
main parking place – not oversized – beyond the steep bit just in front of the

The walk is just over 8 km by my reckoning, and it contains a few steep
stretches which may be stressful for folk used to coastal walks.


Notre Dame de l’Assomption, 12th century, limestone.

The façade and the tower are considered jewels of Saintongeais
Romanesque art. The single West portal is set deep in a funnel of five
archways, whose sculpted figures present
the “Saintongeais sermon” (from outside to inside):- the labours of the
months and signs of the zodiac, the foolish and wise virgins, the angels’
adoration of the lamb, and the virtues conquering the vices. The entrance is
further framed by impressive bundles of columns. Above, a balcony carries six
statues under a cornice of leafwork, and a Romanesque window is surrounded by a
band of marguerites.

Some sections of the lateral nave walls show the small-scale stonework
of a Carolingian predecessor building; these contain thin window slabs (fenestrelles)
with finely sculpted pierced stone strapwork.

On the East, seen from its old cemetery, the church presents a flat
chevet which replaced the Romanesque apse in the 15th century. The church
tower, square for most of its height, changes to a circular form by means of a
storey of arches and bracing pinnacles, all of which contain slender columns.
Above is a circle of 35 small columns, then a spire covered by stone scales.

The North wall of the church contains a lesser portal in a set of three
archways supported by elaborate column capitals. The archways and their
intrados surfaces are finely sculpted with graceful plant motifs.

The interior of the church still shows damage from the collapse of the
barrel vault in the 19th century. In falling, it took with it a Romanesque dais
whose thickset supporting coumns are still visible.

Lanterne des Morts, 12th century, limestone.

Lanterns of the Dead were lit up after funerals to represent the eternal
life of the soul as opposed to the passing of the flesh; the cross at the apex could
also serve for the Palm Sunday celebration. They were common in Saintonge
cemeteries in the Middle Ages. That of Fenioux, considered the most beautiful
in France, has served as a model for monuments in memory of victims of the
World Wars. It is formed of a bundle of eleven tall and delicate columns,
within which a tiny spiral staircase gives access to the lantern chamber: this
is formed by a circle of thirteen separate pillars, surmounted by a short
conical spire covered by stone scales and braced by four small pinnacles.

(Not much is known about the chamber next to the Lanterne des Morts: a
funerary chamber or ossuary?).

Below the Lanterne des Morts, an ancient homestead once contained a mill
powered by the stream from the Fontvieille spring, and a bread oven which has
now been restored.

March Walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Tue, March 12, 2019 09:52:56

The March walk will be held on Sunday 31st March. The meeting point is on the port of Riberou at Saujon in front of the Riberou Bar/Restaurant. Plenty of parking avaialble. We will walk from there along the Seudre to L’Eguille and return, a distance of 10kms. Hopefully there will be a coffee available in L’Eguille so in all we should take about 3 hours. The walk can be muddy after rain. The start of the walk will be at 10 am sharp.

La balade de mars est prévue pour le dimanche 31 mars. Rendez vous pour un départ à 10h devant le Bar Restaurant Le Riberou, au bout du port à Saujon. Parking ici. Nous marcherons le long de la Seudre jusqu’à L’Eguille aller/retour, 10kms en tout. Nous mettrons en tout environ 3 heures.

February walk

Monthly Walk Posted on Wed, January 30, 2019 11:46:10

The February walk will be held on Sunday 17th February. As it is on the same day as the History Talk I am proposing that anyone who wishes could bring a picnic lunch (and change of clothes) to my house after the walk. I am thinking of people who come from some distance and wish to attend both events, but everyone is welcome.
The meeting point is at Le Requin a parking place to the right of the D25 (coast road La Palmyre – La Tremblade) when coming from La Palmyre after the Bonne Anse Camping on the left. The walk will be 8kms in the Forest de la Coubre. Start of the walk at 10 am sharp. Call me if you wish to come and think you may be late.

La balade de février est prévue le dimanche 17 février. C’est le même jour que la Conférence d’Histoire à la Maison, donc je propose un picnic chez moi. Je pense surtout à ceux qui viendrait de loin et souhaite être présent aux deux événements, mais tout le monde sera le bienvenu bien sûr!
Rendez vous au parking du Requin qui se trouve à droite de la D25(route côtière La Palmyre-La Tremblade) en arrivant de La Palmyre, après le Camping Bonne Anse à gauche. Départ à 10 heures précises, me téléphoner si vous pensez être en retard.
La balade en forêt fait 8kms.

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