France: Day Seven – Montauban to Carcassonne

A truly difficult 94 mile day which had us in the saddle for 7 ½ hours and averaging only 12.2mph Although the scenery was wonderful, we had lots of early morning steep climbs over rough & difficult roads. Post lunch wrong directions then took us well over 1100mts rather than the promised 250mts on climbs that just appeared endless. The run down the other side hardly provided relief, as there was strong wind of force 6/7 which made the run treacherous, in particular as the odd truck decided they could pass us with just inches to spare. By way of final insult, the wind turned directly into our face for the final 7-mile run into Carcassone. A hard day which left everyone shattered, some frayed tempers & Gus muttering ‘I can’t believe I climbed that mountain’ & Alan deciding it was hard in the van, let alone a bike!

The wonderful sight of the walled town couldn’t tempt us out that night & we decided to eat in the Hotel Restaurant, which in the event wasn’t bad & we were regaled with the voices of a whole travelling choir of elderly Germans. The thought of 100 miles plus the following day sent everyone to bed early & with a fair amount of dread.