Days 21 to 24: Pyrenees to Languedoc

15 June 2016

Sleepy, pretty towns are two-a-penny throughout the south of France. A few years back we rented a villa in one such town, which I never expected to come back to. My route took me nearby, though, so I decided a little detour was in order to come back to say hello. I’m glad I did, given the great place I found to stay.

This rest day was much-needed after the last 700 kms or so without one. As avid readers will recall, my last rest day was traded for a climb of Tourmalet in the Pyrenees. Combined with some longer rides to get me here, Magalas, to be able to spend the rest day here, I was very relieved at the prospect of not riding today. Except a quick jaunt to the supermarket of course.

The three days from Bagneres saw heavy, sometimes torrential rain for about a day and a half but, as the long descent into the wine valley progressed, so the clouds cleared. In a similar vein, the terrible motel I stayed in on day 22 was replaced on day 23 with a wonderful venue, complete with pool.

Today’s planning of the next week has shown me to have been quite the optimist in planning the rough route through the Alps from the comfort of my living room. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I came up with about 4,000 metres of climbing one day but that clearly isn’t going to work. My legs will be a lot happier for the rerouting I figured out sat by the pool earlier.

A few notes from the the last few days

  • An unsealed road never improves in quality. Don't let one tempt you down it, however OK it looks.
  • No one ever regretted putting on overshoes at the first sight of rain. The opposite cannot be said.
  • I give up on the UK democratic system.
  • There is such a thing as having pizza too often.
  • I give up on the UK democratic system. I can't bring myself to mention the US democratic system.
  • I need to figure out how to report phantom roads on OSM.

My next stop will find me in Grenoble where I’ll need a good rest ahead of Alp D’Huez. Until then!

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