Sunday 19 June
If yesterday was wine then today was wind. I walked back up along the river and up through the gorges. Perched impossibly on the gorge side was an ancient hermitage that could easily have come from a Tibetan movie. I couldn’t resist spending some time exploring it.
I pushed on after a while, quite literally at 45 degrees against the wind forcing its way through the narrow gorge along a vertigo-inducing twisty and narrow road, popular with motorbikes. Glad to be out of the wind tunnel I flopped down at a roadside café – Le Vieux Moulin – for much needed elevenses.
From here it seemed a long way up to the pic, the Bac De Sarraouto which had great 360 degree views all round, if a little blustery at the top and only 900m. I met a trio of Canadians on the way down and then walked on to the spectacular castle of Peyreypertuse which was worth the climb. There was no campsite in the village below and I couldn’t find the gité etape, so I stayed at the rather wonderful Chambres d’hote Les Lavandes where Marie-Antoinette served cake as part of an enormous breakfast. What could be better?