Onwards from Venice …

After Venice we decided to chase good weather, as the forecast for that weekend was rain. So we headed west, across the appalling roads that Italy has. After Slovenia they seemed even worse, and the fuel prices varied hugely,being the most expensive we’ve seen with unleaded rising up to 1.61€ a  litre.

We ended up thinking that we’d head for a lake, and as we’d been round one of the larger ones before we thought smaller is better and hopefully less touristy. We also wanted to cross the border into France higher up than we came over, so headed past Turin.

Avigliana it was then, with a couple of small lakes that you can get to easily.  We cycled around one, and around what we could of the other one. It was beautiful and peaceful, and water certainly seems to have been the theme of this trip away. 
Checking the weekend weather again, we decided that with all things considered, with the road conditions, and massive fuel prices although we had planned on seeing more of Italy,  that we’d head for France, and I found a couple of vide greniers to stock up on my bling! We made it to a couple of small ones before a rainstorm kicked in, so took refuge at an aire for the rest of the day. 

I also have to add at this point that on all our trips across borders, we’d never seen much police presence, but this time we noticed quite  few coming into France. We also saw an abandoned van which was being looked at by police, totally full of all sorts of things, piled high with push chairs and bicycles. It seemed to have broken down and just been dumped. 

 From there it became a weather chasing time, and we actually ended up on the south coast of France, the Cote D’Azur, not that far from Marseille. A tiny fishing village called Carro,  has a great motorhome aire right on the beach for about 9€ per night. We thought we’d stay one night and ended up staying for 6! It was just so peaceful, small harbour with a fish market each morning – with horrendously expensive fish so we didn’t buy any. But the area reminded me of Spain,and a run between Calpe and Moraira on the coast road. 

It was aptly named for the Cote, as the beaches were beautiful,  some quite rocky, but clear turquoise seas. We found a snorkeling kit at a local Decathlon store, and saw 100‘s of little fishies in the local cove. It was lovely and hot and we got a couple of swims in, our first time properly in the sea this year! It was also the perfect place for the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and most evenings you could people watch everyone rushing for their cameras to capture the scenes of fire red skies over the sea.

With another bad wave of rain and storms due we found some more vide greniers inland slightly not far from Nimes for that weekend, so moved to a town called Beaucaire which we have been to before and has a free aire on a canalside. 

We found I think 6 out of the 7 vides that were listed, which is a good strike rate, and I got lots of new bling for my next brood of Baglets.
We’re due back home on 22nd October,  as sister Sarah and her hubby Tim are out for a week on 25th. So slowly we are making our way back. With a watery themed trip it seemed right that we should get in some of the canal du Midi again,one of our favourites in this part of France. 

We started by joining it near Agde where we stopped on a small private aire near the coast. Agde has a great network of cycle lanes which we have finally sussed out how to find on our Maps.Me apps on our phones. So now we’re basing where we stop around where the best cycle routes are for us. We did cycle up part of the canal at the previous stop,but the wind was horrendous by part of the damn leading up to Avignon, so found a voie verte instead which was a old railway line they had done up as a cycle track, wonderful! ! Flat, tarmac and sheltered!
Bruces birthday was celebrated by cycling from Castelnaudary to Montferrand on the canal. We’d cycled the other way the previous afternoon,and seen loads of ducks, a water rat and also an otter, which we startled and saw a couple of times – a first for us both. 

The birthday cycle was rewarded with sightings of lots more ducks, coypu (found the correct spelling now!), and some of the most stunning scenery on a very quiet canal. 

The last time we were in France in May the season was just starting up, so there were loads of canal  boats being chugged around – Le Boat being a favourite with most as a hire company. Horrendously priced but seemingly very popular! We have hunkered down for 3 nights here at Castelnaudary as the forecast is bad every where and we have electric at the moment and are on good tarmac ground so no risk of getting stuck!


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