From Mons la Trivalle to Bize-Minervois (2018-07-16)
Let it rain and thunder and mix that with heavy winds and some lightning ...
It was time to move on again.
I had had my fair share of brut (noice) almost every evening and night, and that is annoying and nerving.
I woke up at 6h30, had a coffee and then ate a sandwich jambon cru that I ordered at the restaurant.
It started to rain when I was almost ready with packing the bike, which was exactly according to the meteo.
Unfortunately I had to pack the tent while wet.
I should ofcourse have packed first but I needed that coffee, maybe to cheer me up a bit.
Forecast was to have rain all day and in the afternoon winds up to 60kmh.
I had choosen a route somewhat more to the south to avoid some metres de denivellee (vertical meters) and was hoping to
have a more easy day.
That turned out not to be the case ...
The route was beautiful again, although sight was very limited because of the rainy and foggy condition.
I therefore did take less pictures ofcourse.
After cycling some 4 hours in the poring rain it became dry.
And at about the same moment I reached the camping in Saint Chinian that I had choosen to be a "maybe" halt if I would be to wet or cold.
And I indeed decided to stop here for today and have a tranquille (relaxing) afternoon and evening.
I just in time spook to the owner before he went of to enjoy his dejeuner (lunch) and then looked
for a nice place to pitch the tent.
But something was bothering me, and I first didn't realise what that was.
Then I saw the pricelist which told me I was supposed to pay a price equal to the one for a family with parents, children, car, caravan and electricity.
I asked the owner whether there was a tarif for randonneurs (travellers by foot or with 2 wheels maximum, staying on a small and simple pitchingplace).
There was not.
Since I promised myself many many years ago to never ever pay for a family that isn't there I instantly decided to move on.
The actual destination, a camping in Bize-Minervois, was "only" some 20 hilly kms away.
The positive thing was that it had stopped raining.
However, the rain was followed up by heavy winds.
I had to push the bike up a long hill (starting downtown already) and even had to stop pushing sometimes since I could barely
control the combi in those winds.
Then, just around the second corner, I saw the mill of Don Quichot !
I parked the bike to a tree and returned to have a look at that site.
In the meantime I was asking myself what would happen if Don Quichot would be home ?!
Would he welcome me ? Would he attack me ? Would he run away ?
But the door was locked, so he was not at home and I could not ask for his signature ...
The mill was (ofcourse) situated exactly at the top of a long hill along a valley, and therefore it caught very much wind.
I took some pictures and tried to film.
But it was not at all possible to stand stable, the wind was just to strong.
However I love it to (shortly) be a very tiny element of those huge forces of nature !
They make you realise how "un-great" mankind also is ...
While returning to the bike I saw this beautiful tiny creature swimming in the small stream near the road.
It also makes you realise how "un-great" mankind is ...
How many of them have I passed today ???
How many are living in this valley ???
And even (Far) more important : how many will still be living in this valley in say about 25 years ???
After having reached the top I cycled (freewheeled) again.
Since there was no speedlimit I could easily do some 300kmh haha.
I didn't then I would miss so many nice things to see !
However, I forgot to turn on the gps and took the wrong road.
So I pushed again for about 15 minutes to return.
While riding (and pushing) the correct small road I finally saw that my road would end up at the road I first thought was the wrong one.
In a gps one can choose the option "fastest route" and "shortest route" which I always do.
The fastest route is always choosen for if one selects "car".
The shortest route is just the shortest route but can be high up the mountains.
The long way around those mountains can be (much) faster then the short way over them.
There is no option "Easiest route" haha, regardless of whether you do have a map loaded with height information.
From my gps software in the laptop I knew that I had to twice cross a combination of hills today.
So I now had a pleasant feeling about having passed most of the challenges for today.
However the final stretch to Bize-Minervois was a bit "unflat" so the last kilometers took some more time then I had hoped for.
That is the wellknown mental "thing".
Knowing that you're almost there you just don't want any drawback anymore.
I stopped one more time just about 400 meters before the village to take one twenty more deep breaths.
I reached the camping municipal which turned out to be very nice, clean, simple and cheap.
Here in Bize-Minervois I as a randonneur have to pay only half the price compared to the camping municipal in Saint Chinian.
I installed my stuff and unpacked and opened all there was to have it dried, especially the tent ofcourse.
In the mean time I had a nice coffee at the reception (for free, as a welcoming, thank you).
And had a cool Orangina later on which is a very nice kind of (non-concentrated) jus d'orange, and with far less calories.
To honour this
beautiful praying mantis
I created his very own picture show in the Nature chapter.
He (or she ?) was waiting for tourists to attack at the showers.
At 19h00 there was a tourist information stand with a free drink (wine ofcourse) and in the mean time the weekly foodtruck arrived.
I ordered a tasty poulet pannee - polenta - legumes grillee plate and ate that at my campspot.
As dessert I had a cooled panacotta with abricots sauce.
The coffee I then had topped of another beautiful day.
Or was it the splash of whisky I found at the bottom of that same coffeecup later on ?
Bize-Minervois is a nice little town where also the river Cesse is flowing along.
There also is a nice natural swimmingpool in the river and it is nice to stay there for a while
and see people enjoying live.
And to have a chat with boys enjoying there
"catch and release"
I also discovered a
big family of waterstriders
and that was a very long time ago.
I will stay some days here in Bize-Minervois to relax and to discover the village and the surroundings by bicycle and by foot.
There happen to be some nice 1 to 2 hour trails here and I should be able to manage them haha.
Ofcourse I will take a lot of pictures, test some restaurants, and cook something healthy at my campspot, preferably with
very many legumes (vegetables).
So I hope you to will have some very nice days !
And don't forget to start your bicycle and/or your photo camera(s) as often as you can.
They will open your eyes, and there are an awfull lot of beautiful things to see out there (even aliens) !
Today I cycled about 51 kms and 485 vertical meters.
I had topspeeds of 51 kmh and 49 kmh somewhere at the downhills.
The bike is handling very well at those speeds !
I try to figure out how to have those speeds all day(s) haha.
I checked the bike the next day and found out that there was nothing to repair, maintain or adjust.
Thanks to the maintenace free design the
laughs about "conditions".
The combination of
makes a big advantage !