Wednesday 18th May Duilhac Peyrepertuse to Lagrasse

Today was a bad choice day, I made the bad choices. In fairness to me I haven't made a self inflicted mistake for some time so I guess I had it coming. Well I got it today.

It was building up yesterday. I noticed that the route I had was not necessarily the quickest and that some of the GR 36 variants were quicker than the one on my GPS. I checked the maps last night (a PDF file on my iPad) and sure enough there was a GR 36b that seemed to cut some corners. This seemed helpful today because I had over 40 kilometres to do and I couldn't get away until gone 8.30.

Duilhac Peyrepertuse by the way is a really nice village. Basically a tourist village, but this morning I found the Auberge and the restaurant I missed last night and they looked great. Got some bread and cheese from the boulangerie but I also had a huge piece of orange cake from the lovely landlady at the chambre d'hotes.


Set of and more views of the amazing Chateau Peyrepertuse which despite getting so close, I have failed to visit. The walk was nice but not as nice as the last few days and I got locked into my IPod. After listening to the Archer's omnibus (sad but true) I really got into this lecture series from Yale on the history of modern France. Was making amazing progress along forest trails and at about 1 o'clock had walked 20 kilometres.

Chateau Peyrepertuse

All of a sudden the signs gave me an option, the GR 36 or the GR36b. Without getting my iPad out and checking the map I followed the GR36b still listening to the history of modern France, I think I was onto the Popular Front by now. After about 45 minutes I started to worry about how far east I seemed to be going but turning around meant confirming that I had wasted 90 minutes so I just kept assuming, despite the evidence, that any minute the path would take me in the right direction and head north. It didn't. Finally at about 2.30 realised that I would have to abandon the GR 36b and figure out how I was going to get to Lagrasse. I had walked by now about 10 kilometres in the wrong direction so decided to follow the roads until I found the main route to Lagrasse. This took me to 4.15 by which time I had walked 35 kilometres, the total journey was supposed to be just under 40 but the sign said I still had 21 kilometres to go.

I decided that for the first time in about 35 years I was going to try and hitch a ride. Initially I tried the sitting and waiting technique but that didn't seem to work so I tried the walking and hitching technique and that didn't work either. After walking for about 4 kilometres my luck suddenly changed and this woman picked me up and took me to within 9 kilometres of Lagrasse. She was lovely and she seemed very pleased that she was the first person to give me a lift in 35 years, she said she hadn't hitched for 40 years!

On the last stretch I saw one car, it stopped and took me all the way to Lagrasse.

Lagrasse is supposed to be the prettiest village in France, it is very pretty although to be honest it's more like a movie set than a village. It's a bit expensive, even now off season. Am staying in a Chambre d'Hotes and I must admit that, after my hitch hiking successes, I was quite pleased that the landlady felt she had to point out that the room was for one person only and that I shouldn't think about sneaking someone else in later on.


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