Quirbajou – village d’etape

Yesterday we took a short trip up the hill on the northern side of the Rebenty river, to the tiny village of Quirbajou, population 36.

With a population of that size you could come to a gentleman’s agreement on what time of day to go down the road, and when to come up. You could do with such an agreement as the winding hill road is little more than a car’s width. At stages there are the narrowest switchbacks in the rock, and one tunnel, not far from the village entrance, rough hewn through the rockface and no more. What the villagers did before the tunnel, I don’t know. They were probably stuck on the other side, with access limited from Belvis, down the forest track from the Plateau de Sault.

It’s a beautiful spot, for all it is small, and arduous to get there. It’s just 15 minutes from Quillan, through the Defile, and on the opposite side of the valley from the delightful Joucou, which we had already visited. It’s a way point on various walking points through the area, as can be seen in the gites ruraux and gites d’etape, as well as the chambre d’hotes – more than a tiny remote village would otherwise warrant.

Were it not for its relative inaccessibility, this would be the house for me. It looks simply idyllic.


The village has a mairie (of course) housed, as so often, in a former school (old abacus still on the front of the building).

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Hence the grandly named Rue de l’Ecole. Also the rather grand Place de la Republique.


There’s also the ubiquitous church, and a lavoir.


On the way back down the road, we startled a large red deer on the side of the road and watched in awe as it bounded across the road in front of us, up the bank and off into the trees.

It’s really rather lovely, and perfect for a week’s retreat and walking holiday. But, I suspect we won’t be moving here anytime soon.


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