Sunday 16th November
Peyrepertuse, keep saying it and it does get easier! We woke up this morning and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. No wind either which considering how high we are was a bonus.
Here si Frankie with Peyrepertuse Chateau in the background. The Chateau has been occupied since Roman times but the first mention was in 1070 when it was owned by the Counts of Besalun. The ridge on which the Chateau is situated used to be the border between Spain and France and you can see further defensive positions on other ridges in the distance.
Our guide book said that it was a 15 minute walk up from the car park but didn’t mention which car park, it wasn’t where we parked. Here is Lucy 30 minutes in and totally knackered. As we were walking up we could hear dogs barking, lots of bells and then gun shots which reverberated around the valley. We saw one of the hunters and asked him what he was hunting for, wild boar was the reply so we wished him good luck. Just think that all the English wild boar are kept on farms and here they are free to rummage until they get the bullet. The hills are covered in Oak trees and since the acorns are black / very dark I am going to call them Black Oaks.
Here is our view after an hour, we have just passed a car park, is it just 15 minutes away? You can see Frankie, he is half way up on the right hand side about 1/2” in from the edge.
It really doesn’t look like we’re 15 minutes away but it is definitely closer than it was. There are three parts to the castle, on the right are the dungeons, in the centre is the central castle and to the left is the Chapel and Dungeons of San Jordi.
It took us two hours to get to the ticket office and unbelievably there were signs for motorhome and caravan parking, not overnight, but the road had been so steep getting up there it was a wonder that anyone would think of taking a caravan up there. Through the ticket office, over the ravine and along the other side of the ridge. This is the only way in and would have been a big challenge to any horseback riders, it was a challenge to us!
There has been a lot of repair and restoration and there is lots more to be done but the views across the mountains were fantastic. The only possible way for the restorers to get their tools and equipment up to the top must be by the use of helicopters, the route up was far too treacherous for carrying anything heavy.
We took lunch in San Jordi’s chapel because it was nice and sunny there. Not a trace of wind either. Lucy thinks she could see the sea, I’m not so sure but she is normally right.
One of the advantages of going at this time of the year is the lack of other people there. We saw maybe five other couples. Back at the aire another two English vans have turned up, the first we’ve really seen for two weeks or more.