5462km so far
After a great night’s sleep at the very pleasant campsite in St Cypriene, “Le Rousillon”, I got back on the road and headed for Beziers. Mostly flat, I made good pace as I followed cycle paths next to beaches with perfect fine sand.
Approaching Leucate, the view was spectacular. As I reached the high point of a bridge, I could see a port sat in the sun to my right, the road stretching across the sea in front of me with the misty shapes of land in the distance to the left. And as I reached the strait, the cycle path twisted through woods, creating the feeling that I was in a pine forest in some Nordic country. Eventually the trees disappeared and I was back by the perfectly still blue sea.
I went past Narbonne and started to feel fatigued. The energy I was using was difficult to replace no matter how much I ate. The road was busy and I was glad I found a vineyard to lie down in and eat.
I slept a little and woke to find I had lost a lot of time. Back on the road I passed two other cyclists with panniers. I waved but pushed on. I didn’t want to waste more time. Fortunately, they caught up with me , and it turned out they were two lads from Barcelona. Jaume and Ian were cycling to Hamburg and we spoke in Spanish and cycled together. They were both just 17 years old, and had decided to try to cycle to see friends in Hamburg. I was very impressed. They had been camping by beaches for 5 days and were a bit dirty. I said I preferred campsites. I offered to buy them drinks at a petrol station where we shared chorizo and cheese and chatted properly.
At Beziers the light was dimming and I couldn’t see a campsite. I agreed to look for a field with them. After going down a few paths, including one where a grumpy man told us it was “privé” and he would call the police, we found a field which was far from houses, and we camped for the night. It was a warm night so I didn’t want to use the tent but I was worried about the tent. I constructed a makeshift frame using the poles from my tent, and hung the mosquito net on it. It worked very well. The sounds of dogs barking, the distant disco, the fear of being disturbed by an angry farmer, and the sounds of animals (probably rats or foxes) in nearby bushes all kept me awake at various points during the night. But spending no money at all on a night’s sleep was nice. Even if it was only half a night’s sleep.