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Days 16 to 18
Narbonne and trip home

Friday 26th May Narbonne to Narbonne Plage and Gruissan

Much cooler today - thank goodness. Probably mid 20's by lunchtime. We aimed to do a circular trip which involved climbing a high limestone hill just south of Narbonne called La Clappa.

Tremendous views from the top and our first view of the Med. A French cyclist stopped to talk us and took our photo. From there it was a lovely downhill ride to the coast.

TT had an errand to do at this point. He had brought a Geocaching Travel Bug which needed to be hidden - but first to find the cache which was just off route behind a large rock. The object of the travel bug is to set it a mission - in this case find its way back to Leicestershire. Other Geocachers will pick it up and hopefully transport it in the right direction.

We then moved on a short distance to the beach where we paddled in the Med and took photos to prove we made it! The ride back was much flatter, firstly utilising cycle paths along the coast into the village of Gruissan and then following the Canal de la Robine towards Narbonne. The two boulangeries we tried in Gruissan were sold out so we bought our lunch at a supermarket on the outskirts of Narbonne and ate it in the Cours de la Republique in the centre alongside the canal.

After lunch we visited the Cathédral St-Just and St-Pasteur which has the highest Gothic choir in the south of France. TW also visited an archeological museum with which he was very impressed. We rounded off the afternoon with ice creams before returning to the hotel.

The stats for the day were 30 miles : 10 mph : 1870 ft climbed

Saturday 27th May Narbonne To Gruissan plus start of coach journey

Decided to go back to Gruissan today via the easy flat route. Arrived at 9.30, had a drink and then made our way on the cycle path to the end of the Canal de la Robine where it enters the sea. There was a big wind surfing festival taking place and in Gruissan itself the town was busy with tourists at the Saturday market.

We visited the church and then climbed the hill to the Tour Barberousse (The Redbeard Tower) from which we had marvellous views of the surrounding coastline.

We stayed in the town for lunch and arrived back at the hotel at 2pm. Just a 3 mile cycle to catch the European Bike Express in two hours time.

The stats for the day were 26 miles : 11.0 mph : 325 ft climbed

Sunday 28th May Home!

Well on our way now. The time is 7 in the morning and we are 80 miles south of Calais. The picture from last night shows the new moon.

The stats for the whole trip were 722.9 miles : 30,784 ft climbed