Puy Surprise (aka Puy de Var, our #5)

Another weekend, another Puy. Despite another week being counted down to Jour J, and plenty of other things to do this week-end (2x sage-femme, medieval festival at Montferrand, administrative work), M and I decided to tackle our last puy (in our list of 5 before Jour J): Puy de Chanturgue.

We drove around the Côtes de Clermont to its Eastern side, and then into the hilly area, towards our Puy. Unfortunately, the first road ended in the middle of the forest. We returned back down, and took the next road to the North, which went further up, but was declared a non-motorized road after some point. Our puy was now South, on the other side of a ridge. But according to the map, just a bit North of us, was another peak, the Puy de Var!

We decided not to drive further into the parc, to not unnecessarily intrude the quietude of the area (although plenty of other cars did) and started walking. After a hundred meters, the path went on a trail off the road, leading to a series of steps. After another 20 minutes climb through scrubs and flowery meadows, we reached the partly rocky top of Puy de Var! It offered a great view onto Clermont, and we could see all our four previously conquered puys.

View from Puy de Var

View from Puy de Var towards South. On the left Puy de Dôme. In the foreground middle-left is Puy de Chanturgue.

Montferrand and Puy de Cruël behind it.

Montferrand with its red roofs and the black Notre-Dame church. The Puy de Cruël can be seen behind the town.

The Côtes de Clermont is a vast natural parc area, with a big and well-signposted trail network. It’s very close to the city yet remains relatively unknown and off the tourist streams of Puy de Dôme. Some archeological findings indicate that this could have been the actual site of the battle  between Gauls and Romans instead of Gergovie in 52 BC.