River rats and red eyes | Sigean to Le Boulou | France

Day 42 Monday 4th July 2016 99km (3934km in total)

“Adventure is worthwhile” – Aristotle

Lovely view with train streaking across the landscape
There was something about this campsite that didn’t want me to leave! Firstly I realised that my rear wheel had puncture and had slowly deflated overnight. So after a quick inner tube change, removal of the thorn, it was ready to go.  As I attached all my panniers to the bike, another camper came up asking if I had lost my battery charger. I replied I hadn’t lost it, merely left it in the baby changing room charging (the only place with a socket out of sight)! I thought it would be a safe place to leave it.

Cleaners had found it and taken it to the bar, which was now closed. It took around 10 minutes to find someone to open it and return my charger! I also had to find the receptionist in order to give them my now empty gas canister. I had bought it in Norway, and even though it was a larger one, I never thought it would last this long. I have been using the stove most nights and sometimes in the morning for tea! When I arrived in Germany I had thought it was nearly empty!


After a delayed start I was able to get going along the big A road towards the coast. The road was quite busy but luckily there was a hard shoulder running alongside, making a perfect cycle path! It was already hot and the road was fairly hilly. The last few days my eyes have ended up quite red at the end of the day and stinging throughout with all the sweat dripping! I’m glad I bought some salt to keep me topped up!


Other travellers I had met along the way had often told me about the prostitutes in the cities and suburbs. I haven’t seen many in the cities but recently along the big roads through the countryside I pass them every 2km or so. I feel sorry for them sometimes, most of the time they look like they are just chatting to one and another on their walkie-talkies!


The coast as usual was busy and full of beach goers. Some of the coastal roads by the sandy beaches have car after car parked along the road, lasting for kilometre after kilometre. The ride does sometimes get a little boring when the only thing you can see is parked cars on the right and the sand on the left!


As I went inland slightly over a bridge above a river or pond I noticed a small turtle (I think) and a rat-like beaver cross otter. After a bit of research I think it was a Coypu (also known as Nutria or ‘the river rat’). It looks like a beaver but has a long round tail similar to a rat instead of a flat tail like the beaver.  I didn’t manage to get a picture but its well worth a search on Google!


In the afternoon, I got another puncture, my third in around four days! The first part of the trip I surprisingly didn’t get any, but now they all seem to be coming at once! Mostly due to glass on the road but also one from a prickle.


Today I got my first view of the Pyrenees as I headed towards the Spanish border. I wouldn’t reach them tonight but camped at the bottom of the Pyrenees. As I approached the campsite I could see a dark rain type cloud coming towards me from over the Pyrenees direction. Exactly the same thing had happened when I reached the Alps in Austria!

In France however, the dark cloud only covered the sun for a hour and didn’t rain! I had an early night knowing I will have a hard day tomorrow.

Dark clouds approaching from the Pyrenees
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About Ceri

Hi, My name is Ceri! I started this blog to share my love of cycling. This comes in all sorts from solo tours to race report! Keep pedalling!
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