As mentioned earlier we left Port La Nouvelle this morning with the intention of riding the 25 km to Narbonne for Mark.S to catch his train. The first 20 km looked idyllic . Along side a canal. What the maps didn’t show was that the road was a cobbled and gutted dirt track. Into a strong headwind. Naturally.
Somewhere up there at the top of the picture unseen is Mark. Grateful that I was making a 50 km detour for him he spent the last morning riding alongside me reminiscing about our last 3 days together. Then again perhaps not.
We had ridden to Narbonne to get to here for a train so Mark could return to Barcelona to catch a flight back to London.
Instead he caught this. A bus. Long story cut very short someone hadn’t researched train services baggage allowances and specifically the bit about bikes not being allowed on the TGV’s in Spain. Oooops. Good thing there was a bus heading to Barcelona he could take. I did remind him of the 5 P’s. Proper Plannjng Prevents Poor Performance. It went down well.
Mark - A massive thanks for giving up essentially 5 days to ride with me. 3.25 days of actual riding and the effort you made to get to Barcelona to join me is very much appreciated . We did have more laughs than groans but I won’t miss looking at this over the next few thousand km.....
Some of his better quotes
After a particularly hard sector of hills
“I think I almost pooped my pants coming up that last hill”
After another hour of fighting a headwind under a scorching sun as we stopped momentarily to catch breath next to a self service car washing machine.........
“Do you think they’d allow me to ride my bike through that?”
But the most consistent and enjoyable one that always made me smile. Whenever I asked Mark how he was doing (which was often) without fail his response , regardless of his true feeling was
“Strong like a bull”
Again Mark a massive thanks . No longer “The Broken One” I anoint you “The Redeemed One”
So onwards from Narbonne I travelled back towards the coast In the direction of Montpellier.
Passed numerous vineyards...
.....and one quaint town (Fleury de Aude)...
...after another ...
... followed by another ...
...before finally hitting the Canal du Midi near Agde.
The Canal du Midi was built during the reign of Louis XIV between 1666 and 1681 as he wanted to connect the Atlantic to the Mediterranean for commercial transportation reasons. The construction basically bankrupted France however it successfully served its purpose for the next 200 years before cars and other means of transport superseded boating.
The ride alongside its backs was blissful. Downwind, smooth tarmac, no cars, few walkers with the Canal on the left shoulder and grazing horses and vineyards on the right.
The water version of the campervan park.
A feeder canal leading into the Canal du Midi
With the canal , beaches , vineyards , Mediterranean climate and quaint towns in proximity this is your French family holiday destination.
Finally arrived at the picturesque canal side town of Agde where I’ll spend the evening before pressing onto Montpellier tomorrow
Cognisant of being in a new country I am keen to pass thoughts on my time in Spain. All 20 days of it. So will put pen to paper and publish them in the next day or so.