We had decided to park up for a second night near the Col de Rousset, but on the way visited La Grotte de la Luire. On first appearance, this is merely a large limestone cave with a boulder jumble in front. Closer inspection reveals a "monster" carved on the outer wall. Signage and memorials indicate that the "porch" of the cave was used as a Resistance hospital during fighting near the end of the war, and is the the site of further atrocities. But there are secrets within. Guided tours of the cave, in which participants make their own candle lanterns to recreate the ambience of the first explorations at the beginning of the 20th century reveal much more. There are sudden huge outflows of water from the cave, and the outrushing water floods agricultural land and homes in the valley below. In medieval times this was explained as the anger of the monster within. To date, no-one has been able to predict when this will happen: in recent times there was a period of 8 years without flooding, and a single year with 3 flooding episodes. The dramatic climax of the guided tour is the revelation of the vastness of the caverns both above and below the chambers beyond the porch. The cave system is apparently enormous and a fascinating challenge to hydrologists and speleologists. We thought the tour was fascinating.
We followed the GR (91?) along the crest southwards until we reached the top of the ski lifts, then returned to Argie. After lunch, then made the short return trip to Col de Rousset.
It was time to move on towards our meeting with the OMC at Ailefroide.