Day 110-111: Ducking around on the river!

When we arrived at our new site yesterday, it transpired that they didn’t accept card payments and we were looking a little low on cash, so being the selfless husband that I am, I offered to get on my bike and endure the pretty ride down the gorge to a nearby village to top-up the funds. Having not been for a ride for a while, it was nice to get out on the road bike and enjoy the perfect tarmac, quiet roads and amazing scenery.

Cash collected, the plan for the rest of the day was to head up to the Château de Peyrelade that overlooked the campsite. As is now the norm for us the walk was all uphill and in the heat, however it was fortunately relatively short and within 40 minutes we were at the entrance of this unique and interesting castle.

There have been records of settlements on the site since the 12th century and on entering what was left it was easy to see why it had been chosen as a stronghold for hundreds of years as it towered, precariously perched, on top of a large rock pillar. Being watched over by more soaring vultures, we wandered around marveling at how this place had even been built.

Once we’d seen all of the grounds (and taken the obligatory hundreds of photos!) we returned back to the visitors centre and spent a very interesting 20 minutes watching a film about the brutal and bloody history of the castle and the area whilst we cooled down from the heat outside.

Eventually it was time to head back down to the valley floor, via a snoop around a pretty nearby hamlet, before getting back to the van for an afternoon of relaxing, blog writing and duck watching!!

On our final morning in the Tarn, before heading back to Lamalou ready for grape picking, there was just time for me to get in another quick road ride before breakfast. Leaving Blaise tucked up in bed, I headed out to explore a bit more of the stunning gorge and was pleasantly surprised to find the air quite chilly as the sun was yet to fully rise above the tall rock walls that surrounded us.

Back at the van it was time for food and to make a quick plan on which route to take back to GUB’s. As we usually fly over, this was a good opportunity for us to explore an area that although very nearby, we have never seen. So with the route set to ‘slow’ we headed out of the valley and back towards the hills! Once again the French countryside threw up some great views as we dropped down from the high plateau of the Tarn and then wound our way back up to Lamalou passing yet more pretty villages on the way.

Arriving back at GUB’s the temperatures were back up again (37 degrees!!) and we’d certainly felt it in the BFG – hopefully the heat will drop off a bit before we start grape picking! Unpacked and settled in, we’d been invited out for pizza in the evening with a couple who lived just down the valley from GUB. Showered and smartened up (a little!), we headed off to the most unassuming restaurant that I think I’ve been to! It looked more like a biker hang-out/car workshop from the outside and inside was a very simple space but super friendly and with a very good looking menu!

Pizza ordered and drinks flowing, we had a great evening catching up with Mike and Tina before they had to head back to the UK for a while. Before we knew it, it was time to get back and get some sleep in preparation for the arrival of Blaise’s sister the next day.


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