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by Alain Hoffmann

 

The lunch break on a very hot summer day. Luckily we found a dry riverbed where we drove up near a canyon wall. Flood in spring reaches usually up to the discolored section way above the top of the car.

 

Fourwheeling in the Auvergne and the Cantal /Southern France

The region lies in the southern part of France, almost in the middle between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape is formed by old volcanoes. The average hight above sea level is around 800 metres/2400 feet.

What makes this part so nice is the variety of the challenges you can find. The "pistes" (that's what lanes are called in french) vary from rather large to those almost impassable by a standard Land Rover. Trafic interdictions are still almost non-existant but this does not mean you can drive any road you find. In fact many of them are abondoned since a long time, edges may crumble or the way simply gets smaller and smaller until you have no more space to turn around and have to drive backwards for endless stretches, always with one tyre near the ledge. You can believe me, I tried it myself.

I will not reveal any of the lanes in this place. I want to reduce those affluence that led to closures elsewhere. However I'll give you an local contact adress if you email me.

Now just enjoy some of the pics. I drove these trails in September 1999.

The nicest picknick spot around- and the loneliest Some "pistes" are very tight. In front of this position you can see that there's only about 3 inches space on the downhill side- when the uphill wheel is tightly driven against the rocks. It's a sharp drop but hey, it's only about 50 metres or 150 feet.
Fording a river. It didn't rain for several weeks and the water was as shallow as it could be. In normal conditions it reaches about the door sills- in summer. The way into a small village. I still had about 4 inches on one side left. Believe me or not, the space between the houses was exactly the same. No problem except that I also had to negotiate a 90 degree turn in a sharp downhill. I think it was the first time I used low box first and reverse on tarmac.

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