Thursday, August 6, 2009

Carcasonne, South of France

Tuesday 4 August –
We left our campsite at La Chalard by 10.30am and decided we would take the toll road down to Carcasonne to make it an easier drive and only about 4 hours which would give us plenty of time to find a campsite and get set up.
Oh the best laid plans...we got stuck in traffic on the A61 because of an accident and for 2 hours we hardly moved, then for the next hour traffic was on a detour and so was much slower than the 130 km/h that we were expecting. We eventually made it to Carcasonne after 6pm and pulled up to a campsite – it was full. They were directing people to another site not far away so we went there and they were full too, but were putting people in a field for the night (to be vacated by 8.30am) – at least it is somewhere to sleep. By now it was after 7pm, still over 30 degrees and everyone was tired...we got the tents set up then headed up to the camp bar/restaurant for a cold drink and a banana split which helped revive everyone a bit!
We didn’t have our best night’s sleep – the traffic seemed to race up and down the road outside and there was a regular train that went past, it had been so hot when we went to bed that I just used sheets and left my sleeping bag in the car so I woke at 4am cold...we were out of that campsite by 8am to find the village boulangerie for our baguette and pain au choclat
Before leaving Carcasonne we went up to explore the old walled town and had fun walking around the ramparts and pretending to survey our kingdom. We were there before all the touristy shops were open (which we didn’t mind) and before the chateau was open (which we didn’t mind) and before the crowds of people arrived (which we really didn’t mind). Carcasonne may be a lovely place but for us it was too hot and too busy so we moved on.
We drove north for about an hour and a half and found a campsite at the village of Albine, not too far from the large town of Mazamet...more about that next.

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