Publié le : 11/30/2023 11:32:41
Catégories : Organise your cycling trip
Day 4: Palavas-les-Flots > Puichéric (145 km)
"It's been a short night in Palavas, and we've got another big step in front of us. Waking up is harder. Our knees are starting to creak. To leave, we had to switch on the automatic pilot: fill our water bottles, fix our saddlebags and start pedalling again.
Following the beautiful track along the Etang de Vic, we reach Sète, the Venice of Languedoc. The Rhône flows into the Gulf of Lion and we're back on the water again, heading for the Canal du Midi, which will take us through the Occitanie region as far as Toulouse. After a divine dip in the sea on the long beach at Marseillan, we turn our backs on the Grande Bleue. Past the Etang de Thau, the Canal comes into view, and we instantly understand why most bikes cycle the other way. A nasty headwind is tormenting us. We watched with envy as the cyclists seemed to split the air, hurtling towards us with insolent ease as we struggled to keep up at 15km/h. We headed up the canal, the sun beating down on our helmets.
The afternoon was well under way by the time we reached Béziers and its rather unwelcoming centre. We only regained our strength after methodically gobbling up the sandwiches and cold drinks that a sympathetic baker had to offer us.
The climb back up to the famous Fonseranes locks got us back on our feet and we finally got some colour back, discovering the sublime wine-growing landscapes of the Minervois, its beautiful villages (Ventenac, Paraza, Roubia, Argens) and its roads lined with plane trees. As the hours ticked by, we forgot all about our tiredness and improvised music blind tests.
This fourth stage had to be won mentally, but the reward was well worth the effort. Welcomed by Max and Hugo in their charming guest house on the banks of the Aude, we relaxed our legs in the pool before tackling a king's dinner. The tomatoes are from the garden. The sausages from Modeste, the local butcher. Homemade profiteroles and a few glasses of Minervois wine gently lull us into a good night's sleep. "