Day 21 Motorhoming in France … St Chinian to Carcassonne

Well here is yesterday’s blog, sorry but my laptop is just so annoying by the time I’ve sorted out my photos for the day, the battery is nearly flat and last night it just gave up the ghost.

I’m sat in a car park with about 25 – 30 other motorhomes, it’s drizzling and I have a bowl of crisps and a glass of Muscat next to me. It’s been a very good day. We (well, I) slept very well last night! We were once again treated to a show of nature in the form of a massive thunderstorm! I must be getting used to this as I didn’t hear a thing, but this morning everything was absolutely drenched!

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We left our spot on the vineyard and set off for the local village to buy some bread (we’ve at last realised if we want it fresh, we have to get it first thing!) We left the safety of our little valley and once again I am at risk of boring you yet again with stories of mountains, hills and hair pin bends. We drove through more vineyards than you could shake a stick at! We found an empty, long lay-by which looked inviting so we pulled over, we were the only ones there and the road was lovely and quiet. We are in the habit of making up a flask of coffee every morning so we have it to hand. We broke up our fresh bread, smothered it in Nutella for him and home-made, apricot jam for me, poured our coffee and settled in for our breakfast. We noticed a car pull in at the other end of the lay-by, a lady and gent got out, she was wearing pink rubber gloves and was carrying a knife. Now then she was either the local psychopath or there was an innocent explanation – I was going to find out – aha, she was looking for mushrooms and snails! She was such a sweetie and even gave me the recipe for soaking and cleaning snails and how to cook them. She even showed me where I could find them. I explained I’d just had my breakfast and would give it a miss on this occasion! (I must’ve shown a little too much enthusiasm!) They were such a sweet couple, the gentleman was disabled and she showed such patience with him. As we left she handed us some of her bounty, just the mushrooms I’m pleased to say, I don’t think I fancied a load of snails escaping in the van!!

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We carried on, and I can say we passed more vineyards, domaines, and chateaux than I’ve ever seen. There were so many names I recognised including Minervois to name just one. For me this is usually what I see on the supermarket shelves back in the UK.  This really is wine country. We crossed over the Canal du Midi, which I’ve wanted to see for so long, unfortunately they’ve had such terrible weather down here and such flooding that the normally serene and calm picturesque Canal du Midi, now looks like a river of mud!! Not what I was expecting at all. Maybe we will pass it again on our travels and it will look more attractive, I certainly hope so.

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Charlie has been out of sorts today, he didn’t want to walk at all, and he lost his tail wag, so when we arrived at Carcassonne there was no way he was going to accompany us! We left him in the van as it was cool and we set off for the Medieval City. Gosh, what a superb place. I find it hard to believe that it is as old as it is. It’s so perfect, I would say almost contrived, the inner streets are just jam packed with tourist trap shops selling tat,  I almost had the impression of walking around a theme park! (I mean that in the nicest way)

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We had lunch in the van and this evening decided to go for another walk, this time taking a now, more cheery Charlie! We set off to see the old city, the Bastide, I’m afraid we didn’t get to see the Bastide, Charlie got as far as the Old Bridge and decided to call it a day! We turned and returned to the Aire. Unfortunately, Charlie couldn’t quite make it and so The Hubster (or should now be called the Hulkster!!) ended up carrying the poor old pooch the last couple of hundred metres. That’s no easy job, he weighs at least 21 kilos! Back at the van I don’t know, of the two, who was the most tired!

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