I didn’t plan or aim for it but the dots on my map were the same as those for the Tour de France. Everyone thinks I know everything about all the teams and that I follow avidly, but I honestly couldn’t care less. Its far too much rushing about and hard work. Just think about all those vineyards that offer tastings and will fill your plastic bottles for a few euro – they are the ones who don’t know what there missing…
Since my way was blocked, why not stick around.
The circus passed through the village, or sponsors as they are known. Lobbing free gifts, tasters and flyers as they drove past on floats. Loudspeakers, music, video screens. All great fun but it is a mistake to assume the cycle race is not far behind as the streets suddenly emptied and marshals sat down in the shade for a picnic. “How long until the race?” I asked. “Two and a half hours”. Sod that.. With a diverted route I pressed on.
Then camped next to a lake
Garotte de Clamouse
The tour specialises in the chemistry and geology of cave formation. Its in in depth and explained how carbon dioxide dissolves into the rainwater that seeps into the limestone which then dissolves the limestone to create the voids. As the river carves deeper valleys the water table drops draining the chambers. there was so much more.. Creatures and fish adapted to conditions underground were pointed out, stone colouring, core sample analysis, chemical reactions.. If I was a kid I’d be soooo board. There was once formation in the shape of an eagle. “Look, there is the an eagle. Its actually created by blar action of blar blab blab blar..”, is probably how the average 10 year old would have heard it.
I was expecting 2 headed buddas standing on one leg holding an ironing board if you half close your eyes and tilt you head. I was so very pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised at this learning and visual feast. I recommend it to the nerds like me..
St Guilhem le Desert
A UNESCO heritage sight right next door to the caves. I explored to cool dark interior of this Romanesque abbey
The rest of the day was spent cycling the Gorges de l`Herault carved through the limestone valley by the action of the river.