Stopping short yesterday means that we can’t get to Millau today, where we had planned a rest day tomorrow. But we will get close today and have a half day cycling tomorrow.
A cold front followed yesterdays rain so that at 900m altitude we needed warm clothes this morning. In town over breakfast we met our first English cycle tourist – a young lad doing Biarritz to Munich. This was his only section on his own and he looked fed up after yesterday’s weather.
I was delighted to find that the large lakes that we passed today were indeed the ones I had seen from the plane on the flight out. I had been confident from the plane that they were on our route, but checking google maps afterwards made me doubt the identification because a large island was not shown where I had seen it from the plane. I was thus very satisfied to turn a bend and see the island right where it should have been. Never trust google maps!
This was Sunday morning and there was nothing open for coffee in Murat. I bet they didn’t have that trouble in the Tour when it came through a few weeks ago. We climbed again to over 900m and then entered the head of the gorge du Dourdou. This was a beautiful descent into a small tranquil valley with a tiny road along it.
Lunch was calling and, after a succession of closed and deserted villages, we decided that we stood more chance of a decent restaurant by following the Dourdou downstream rather than by deviating to Sylvanes Abbey as intended. Food or culture? This paid off handsomely with a fantastic meal in a packed local restaurant in Camares. We were squeezed in amongst the locals in a very friendly atmosphere and really enjoyed the food and the rest.
After dinner it was straightforward down valley cycling to St Affrique. By this time we were back to busier roads – the first since Caumes Minervois. But the town was a good one. We picnicked at the campsite and then drank beer in town till it got dark.