Oh dear it looks gloomy over there…

Stage 8 Castres to Aix-de -trios-domaines

Eatly alarm after a late night is never a good idea. 8.10am start its not properly light and the city is dead. Then cyclist points out it is Saturday. Ah, but still you would think there would be more activity. 9.30am and the towns are just coming to life. Shops are now open but there isn’t many people about. The cyclist likes it this way and so do I however it will get much busier later and hopefully we will be in the mountains by then.
The a cyclist is a little weary after yesterday. Not the ride as such but battling the wind so it w lime going up a mountain all day with the amount of effort ended just to keep moving. For 120 miles it is no joke.
Castelnaudary, I have wine made that is there. I am hoping I will see a Cave and be able to buy some. I didn’t unfortunately. I wasn’t able to buy a bottle of Blanc de Limoux from Limoux either. Maybe I will be able to when we next go to the supermarket?
From the Tour playlist today I had ‘Diane – The Bachelors’ chosen by Nanakatz. It is her song choice for my story playlist. I love older music and especially some of the songs she used to have on 45 record that I payed as a teenager. For instance that is how I learned to love Johnny Tillotson’s Poetry in Motion and the Kalin Twins ‘When’. When I showed her I had the Diane song and played it she started singing it. MM_Scimitar said “oh my god” and much as I love my mother, it was a wailing sound not fit for tender ears. Bless her. She said she remembered being at a venue where they were p,acing back in the day, and when they asked the audience to choose a track she hollered “Diane” and they played it for her. It’s hard for me to imagine my mom as a youngster. What about you?
I have the songs on my iPhone all on shuffle so I never know what I am going to get. Sometimes I am not in the mood and have to move a track on. And the next one and the next one. The music has to hit the spot for that moment or the mood of the day. If I trusted the Garmin more I would plug the ipad into the Meriva’s USB as that has double the tracks on it with different playlists. But I don’t trust the Garmin so I stick with the phone.
We got to the Pyrenees not far into the ride. it was pretty hair raising but spectacular. The roads were only just passable by two cars if you went slow and careful. there were sheer cliffs with overhangs you could hit your head on. Then there are the motorcycles that come tearing towards you on the wrong side of the road. We went through a Gorge that was a fantastic photo op’ but there was a car between The Cyclist  and me which was frustrating, hence i have no pictures of the sheer rock sides.
They have had bad weather here just like we encountered in the Dolomites in Italy. the snow is obviously still melting and on this road it was causing a flood. It was across the road and they had tried to channel it by using sandbags but they didn’t stop it all. It soaked the Cyclist as he rode through. It was a good job the sun had come out but he said he feet were sodden and froze from that point on.
It was a truly wonderful Col. The views were spectacular and it enabled me to take some good pictures of the cyclist as he cycled in the mountains. See if you agree. I was climbing to stand on walls and up embankments and steep verges to get into positions to get shots that were taking in the twisting road where we had been on the way up. I did this in Italy and trod on a snake so that is always at the back of my mind, but I often have to be quick so I don’t get time to think about it.
Being on a bicycle in the mountains has changed his perspective on motorbikes. He says he doesn’t want his GSXR 1000 anymore. He doesn’t want a sports bike anymore. He says he realises that zooming at silly speeds up and down the mountains means that he doesn’t see any of the scenery and he misses so much. This train of thought began in Italy but I never commented as it may have been a flash in the pan, but it has grown stronger while we were in the Pryenees. If he had a motorbike he said it would be one that you sit upright on and is naked like all the Italians had. He thinks it would be more comfortable and you would have to go at breakneck speeds. This is good news but let’s see if it happens.
We arrived at tomorrows start in the evening and it was a very picturesque town built on a river as so many are. As he had a big ride ahead of him tomorrow and that we didn’t have any tortellini, I suggested we ate out so he could have a good dinner and maybe a pudding to up the calories to fuel him. He ordered a full spag Bol main. Ourselves as a starter then entrecôte chips, bread for his main. The waiter looked at him and said that the bolognaise was very big was he sure. The Cyclist said he was. I said that he was very hungry. I had a pizza and chips which I only ate half of. I wrapped the other half up so The Cyclist could have something different instead of sandwiches tomorrow. We are at that stage where he s getting sick of eating the same thing. It’s hard to keep trying something that is both practical and easy. Currently I am trying cous cous salads and ready cooked Indian chicken drumsticks. Now he is full and says he needs to sleep NOW so until tomorrow.
Soundbites:
Gary Moore – In the fields
Tony Christie – Avenues and Alleyways
K.D. Lang – Constant Craving (such a fantastic track)
Visage – Fade to Grey ( very apt as half is sung in French)

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