Perpignon to London - Day 2 - La Palme to Trebes
- Distance 97.4km
- Max Elevation 90m
Perpignon to London - La Palme to Trebes Ride Profile
Today, our Perpignon to London ride would start in ernest.
We planned to be up early, ready to leave at 8-30, when the camp site office opened and we could collect our bread and pay the bill.
Karen asked Steve the time and he said it was 7.00am. She got up to shower and was surprised to see a wonderful sunrise over the ocean. "I haven't seen the sunrise since February in Spain." It was strangely quite in the toilet block and nobody else was up, but it still didn't dawn on us. After breakfast we quietly packed everything and took down the tent. It was only then that Steve glanced at his watch again and realised it was still only 7-00am. We had actually got up at 6.00. All we could do was kick our heels and wait until 8-30 to leave.
We set off along the road on our Perpignon to London ride to Port-La-Nouvelle where the cycle track went along the canal towpath all the way to Narbonne. We couldn't find it and when we did there were barriers across it saying it was closed for the next two weeks. The only alternative was back the way we had come and along the busy main road. Luckily a local told us that there was no problem and we rode around the barriers. Only a short section of the path was closed and there was no obvious reason for the closure.
It was a fine morning with a slight head wind and we followed the canal between two salt lakes all the way to Narbonne. Here we called at the tourist office to find information about the Canal Du Midi, which would form the first stage of our Perpignon to London ride and to buy a Michelin road map.
As the canal meanders around west of Narbonne we initially followed a shorter route along the back lanes. At lunch time we rode into Roubia and stopped at the first likely looking restaurant and asked for a menu. It turned out to be a Thai and we ordered green chili, chicken curry. Delicious!
By mid afternoon it started to rain. We expected a short shower and we donned our waterproof jackets. As we crested the hill, we could see that it was going to be more than a short shower and it got heavier and heavier.
By this time we were onto the canal towpath, but we were already soaking so just continued riding. Unfortunately the path had deteriorated to a narrow muddy single track with slippery tree roots. The wetter it got the more difficult it was to avoid skidding. Suddenly we were into a clay quagmire. The mud stuck to our wheels, clogged our brakes and flicked onto our panniers and legs. A German lady who had been struggling along in front of us (left behind by her unfeeling husband) slid off into the mud. We asked her if she wanted help, but she was OK, except for the hidden anger with her husband. We had to get off and push as it wasn't rideable.
So now we were soaked, muddy, hungry, cold and tired. We slithered into Trebes and decided that there was no way we could camp as the rain was still pouring. We dripped on the floor of tourist information while they told us about accommodation in the town. There were two hotels, both on the industrial estate about 3km out of the town. We opted for the cheaper, which had a restaurant so at least we wouldn't have to go out for food.
Fortunately, the young lady in tourist information (very good looking according to Steve) had pre warned them when she booked it for us, how wet and muddy we were. The lady owner was very sympathetic and provided a hose to sluice both the bikes and ourselves, before we went to our room and a nice hot shower. We had a lovely meal in the hotel.
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