Hiking on the Sentier des Astragales

Spicy hiking at Chateau-Queyras and Ville-Vieille on the Astragalus path, sentier des Astragales. Along the GR-path 85A, to the village of Meyries and Le Rouet, where we descend zigzag to the impressive Chateau-Queyras and then return along the river Le Guil to our residence in Ville-Vieille.

Ville-Vieille has been chosen as our place of residence for a reason. Nearby lies in the warm slope a mini nature reserve with maxi-plant growth. Sentier des astragales, named after a special Butterfly astragalus species, bearing the French name astragale queu-de-renard. So foxtail to the woolly long flower or the thick brown seed fluff, which can now be seen in large numbers at the end of August. We look at the area today shallow, in between we want to take a closer look at this place. Now we walk steadily towards the higher GR path 85A, yet we still admire the blooming hyssop, see the Artemisia campestris, juniper, wild gooseberry and much more. Higher up the view of Chateau-Ville-Vieille also becomes more and more beautiful, along a beautiful stream valley and a larch slope forest you climb to 1750 meters and then reach the wide path of the GR.

Autumn Crocus
At altitude we walk to the village of Meyries, along the way the mountain meadows see purple of autumn timeless. We fall on our knees to take pictures. This colchicum autumnale is not only beautiful but also secretly poisonous. Diluted the bulb is still used in homeopathy to cure inflamed joints. Colchicine, an alkaloid, is a very old anti-inflammatory agent used against gout. However, there is only a small difference between an effective and a toxic dosage. There was a time when children's toys were mainly provided by nature. In the seed boxes of the autumn crocus, the seeds rattling. Kids picked these seed boxes. Then it became a dangerous rattle. Now there is no rattling with the seeds and we continue to Le Rouet, where we start the descent to Chateau-Queyras. In Rouet, in addition to some houses, there is mainly an old church and cemetery to admire. The wooden engraved crosses lean against the stone wall.

The zigzag descent leads us again through the impressive larch forests, in between we get spectacular vistas on the chateau of Queyras. Here too, the fortresses builder Vauban has done his best. In the village we have a beer and do some shopping, cross the Guil, along the bridge and then follow the road back to Ville vieille. We now walk along the north side of the valley, called the ubac, the plant growth is clearly different, more forest and shadow-loving plants among others the real goldenrod and the bearberry grow here in full. A combination that provides us with a medicinal herbal tea against cystitis.

You still climb firmly on this wide gravel road until you can descend on a narrower path to Ville-Vieille. A lot of plants can be admired here, near a stream and so more humid spot we find the carnivorous fat leaf and further on even yellow aconite and the seed pods of the martagonlily. In the distance we already see the little church of Chateau-Ville-Vieille. A day of spicy hiking is over, a hearty meal in the gîte with the appropriate name 'Les Astragales' will taste us good.

Info Queyras
The easiest access road to the French Queyras runs through the city of Guillestre, located 30 km south of Briancon. Another beautiful access road runs through the Tour de France Col d'Izoard (2360 m). The main river in this area is the Guil, the valley of the Guil forms the largest part of the Parc Naturel Regional du queyras.

#walking #alps #bergen #queyras

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