This was a surprisingly long and hot day in the saddle. As we were nearing the Med we decided hang south through a very hilly area and then go off-road through the deserted areas around the etangs (saltwater lagoons) and salt marches south of Narbonne.
The temperature rose into the high 20s as we climbed into hills around Durban Corbieres.
On the decent towards Peyriac-de-Mer we caught (only be virtue of them stopping) and chatted to an American couple on a tandem. They had 'done' the Alps and were off to 'do' the Pyrennes. Whilst they were older than us they looked very fit and had no spare fat. I don't think they drank enough beer! They only had one item of each garment, to keep weight down, and must have gotten very smelly.
Moving on we went off road and followed a very twisty route, often on small tracks where the grasses and bamboos were well over head height. We crossed many small bridges that were only just wide enough for our bikes. Sometimes we emerged onto waters that were occupied by hundreds of flamingos. Many other bird populations were also observed, both on the water and soaring overhead.
After several hours we emerged from the 'rough' to follow a canal and then turned off this to follow a small Tarmac road. We were heading (we thought) for Guisssan.
Then a funny thing happened. A very fat French guy on a bike was heading towards us, with a woman on another bike some way behind him. When he got to us he called out that we must stop and follow him coz we we were going in the wrong direction for Guisssan. I don't know why but we turned and followed. I rode beside him back the way we'd come and the woman rode beside jc.
How did he know we were going the wrong way? (Which we were.)
How did he even know we were going to Guissan?
Why did we turn and follow him?
As we rode he was breathing heavily and sweating a pig. I thought he was on his last legs. When we got back to the canal he told us to follow the canal for a while them turn right to Guissan. After saying au revoir to him we set off, obediently, to do as he said. He went the other way. A mile later we heard a shout from the other side of the canal "Turn right!" It was him again! this time he was worryingly short of breath. We did as he said. Found Guissan and never saw him again. Most odd.
We are now very close to the Med but have not seen it yet.
Tomorrow we finish.