Carcassonne to La Somail-Tragedy and punctures

I awoke to several worried messages on FB asking if we were OK and anyplace near the tragedy.  On with the TV and checking BBC news to hear of the attack in Nice the previous evening.  Breakfast was rather subdued.

It had been a really pleasent few days in Carcasonne we pedalled away along the canal the realisation that  the holiday would soon be over suddenly hitting us but at least we could pedal away.

The crops were once again the grape variety.  The surface we cycled on was hard packed earth of varying widths which made riding side by side difficult and at times was very bumpy and uncomfortable.  We had read reports of the Midi being rougher going than the Garonne and they were right.  Although the canals are managed by a country wide organisation it seems the pathways are down to the local Departments and the paths since we had entered Aude had been terrible. It was here that we got our first puncture!

A feature of the canals are the plane trees that line the banks and provide shade lately they had been attacked by some sort of disease and on almost the whole length of the trip we saw mature trees with numbered disks nailed in them, stumps where they already been removed or young trees that had been replanted.  This was a long term project and there were many signs describing the size of the investment and the duration of the project.

We proceeded along the canal passing through Marseillette, Homps, and Argens-Minervois to name but a few of the villages.  There was a bit of urgency about today’s journey as we were meeting a friend of Carol’s for dinner and had some distance to cover.

We passed by some interesting metal sculptures along the way .

Our Gite for the evening was the Neptune another quirky privately owned establishment barely 50 feet from the canal and with a lovely little terrace where we were invited to take a drink with the owners.

The owners explained that Carol’s friend, Carrie, had called to ask directions and let us know that she was running a little late which gave us more time to get ready and relax on the terrace!

Carrie arrived and took us to the town of Bize-Minervois where she lived with her husband and son.  We had a stroll through the town to a lovely little restaurant where we had an excellent dinner and some wine.  Afterwards we went back to Carries house for a short while before she dropped us back at the Gite.

Stats Distance 41 miles

Time 4h 48m

Climb 194 ft


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