I can see the sea

Monday 20 June

I slept fantastically well and couldn’t fault the price of the room – it was certainly worth the 50 euros.

Today started with a downhill gradient for a change and I travelled along the valley floor through villages such Cucugnan, which all seemed to share a love of both art and wine. I made a  a steep 728m ascent to the impressive Château de Queribus; one of the Five Sons of Carcassonne which are five castles strategically placed to defend the French border against the Spanish. Queribus dates back to at least 1020 and was the last to fall in the Albigensian crusade. Its position on the rocky outcrop meant it could be held by as few as 20 men.

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The castle afforded more views across the valleys to the sea and mountains. The walk continued through another gorge and an emerald green river passing more vineyards and the sea, now frequently visible from the hills. An uplifting sight.

The sun grew ever more fierce in the afternoon and the air was heavily perfumed with the scent of broom – the yellow flower of the Plantagenets who once held this region. Along with the thyme, olives, laurel and box trees make this a magical region. The campsite at Tuchan was also a good one with a pool and bar but somewhat rocky ground and lots of English watching the football.

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