It was a rather different view we woke to this morning! No more lovely sunshine and long crisp views. It was grey and gloomy and still cold. Not a day for sightseeing. Our first job today was to find a caravan accessory shop and get the special warming sign we need to fix to the bikes on the bike rack that is required in Spain. Google suggested Narbonne Accessories which is of course in Béziers not Narbonne! We bought the last one on the shelf and were quite pleased that it was one of the metal heavy duty ones with the pattern for Spain on one side and on the other side the similar but different pattern required in Italy.

The plan today was to go to Narbonne and have time to explore the old town beside the Canal du Midi. We found the car park in a housing estate within easy walking distance of the town but could not bring ourselves to go out in the cold wind that threatened rain! There had been a funny gloom all day. As we drove out of Sète at 10am we both remarked that it felt like early morning the cloud cover was so thick. We have got so used to the bright southern light that we really missed it. That also means very few photos today.

Anyway we decided to have a quick lunch and press on to the aire I had planned to use tomorrow. The sooner we get further south the better and so we did two days drive today – 177kms in all.

Today was largely on main roads and we saw a lot more traffic and also lots of other motorhomes although only one other British one. Also quite a bit of freight moving too and from all over; Slovakia, Poland, Hungary to mention a few.

Had the sun been shining this would probably have been a nice drive. In the gloom and rain it was not. NB Note the “two phone” driving set up. The lefthand phone runs the sat nav software and the righthand phone runs the GPS speedometer. The hats are to keep the sun off them (!).

Very little remarkable about the scenery today as most of the way was along the flat coastal plan at least until the last few miles in Port Vendres when we climbed up into the very edge of the Pyrenees.

Along the way we saw several people pruning huge vineyards, they seemed to be equipped with little more than a pair of secateurs to prune acres and acres of vines. We have driven through vineyards for many many miles. We have also seen a few commercial olive groves and a few orchards that we think might be almonds or peaches or even apricots.

Satnav in its wisdom decided it would be quicker to go through the middle of Perpignan rather than around the ring road. I suspect that cost us at least 20 minutes! However added crossed the River bridge in to the town there was a big sign saying Bienvenue au Pays Catalan! After that sign all road signs have been in French and Catalan. I did not realise that France had a piece of the Catalan country  in the same way that there is French Basque and Spanish Basque at the other end of the Pyrenees.

Drizzle in Perpignan. Note the palms in the middle of the road.

Tomorrow we are going to Spain via the coast road hugging the very far eastern end of the Pyrenees. Must fit the warning panel first though!

Port Vendres in the rain
Drizzle in Languedoc