Monday, 28 April 2014


Our Gite at La Caze last night was so comfortable that it was hard to get going, especially as it was snug and warm while outside it was raining and there was a hill to climb. Imagine that you are staying in a converted barn on a farm full of old beams and watching the rain pattering on the windows, it is tempting to stay where you are.
The reality is that we are still in our first week of our latest cycling adventure. There is lots to see so we peddled on. We are in dairy country in the hills overlooking the Tarn valley. Our first encounter is with a farmer then a milk tanker. Chickens cackled in the farm yards. We pass ancient farm houses that make me think of traditional west country farms at home. The architecture is different but the lifestyles are similar.
We have a giant downhill to descend, great! It wibble wobbles its way to a medievil village called Brousse where we stop and admire the place. It is warmer now and off comes one layer but not the waterproofs.
What follows is an easy ride beside the Tarn. Coffee is at a restaurant in L'incot where a dog leaps frenetically around us in welcome. The owner catches him but we hear the dog still trying to welcome us behind a fence. The owner is painting some chairs while as the only customers we scrutinise the work carefully.
Waterproofs are removed as the sun seems desparately to try and find a way past the clouds. We reach Ambialet after 25 miles for lunch where we are greeted by two more dogs. Starter is a quail salad while main is duck. This is plat de jour. We feel that this is luxury cycling. However there is a hill to climb. By local standards it is modest being only 3 miles long. We are now down to tee shirts and perspiring. However at the top, the wind that has kept away so far hits us with full force as we are out in the open. Back go on layers of clothes and we need steely determination for this headwind.
After 15 miles we discover a recently built cycle trail on a former railway. It looks like a Sustrans creation. It is now an easy ride to Castre albeit the weather was giving us all four seasons in two hours with sun, wind, rain, hot and cold.
we cycled 62 miles today and Dagmar, my excellent navigator tells me we are ahead of schedule

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