France: Day Eight – Carcassone to Port Camargue

This was to be the big one of the trip & in that regard, it didn’t disappoint us. 111 miles, 8 1/2 hours of cycling & combined climbing of 620 mts. It didn’t exactly inspire when we woke to a cold & wet morning & evidence of the same winds we’d had the previous day. On the plus side there wasn’t a lot of climbing & we did get the wind behind us for part of the way. However at 30 miles Gus had the first of what was to be many group punctures & as his spare also had a hole, it was a frustrating delay for us all.

Overall it was the sheer length of the ride that took its toll although we did maintain the regimen of 20-mile stops & a decent lunch break, which brought instant relief albeit often only short, lived. We arrived in Pt Camargue in the wet, quite shattered, but to very attractive cottage type accommodation (Spinaker Rest) around a pool, into which Richard promptly plunged for all of about 15 seconds. Alan was having trouble finding us & Christopher struck out to guide him in – an act of extreme kindness given his state of general exhaustion.

This upmarket accommodation, on the coast & with a lovely Marina fortunately also had a very good but rather expensive restaurant so at least we finished off the day, well fed & watered & we had now done the ‘coast to coast’ which was the original plan.