Saturday 8th November
I decided to get us up early this morning, we had a shopping centre to check out and we were due to be heading further south to get some sun but when I got up there was a thick mist. We wanted to go over the Millau bridge but with a mist like this it seemed to be a waste of time.
We hoped that by visiting the town it might give the sun a chance to burn it off. Something we have noticed about French shops is that there seems to be an overabundance of Opticians, Pharmacys and babies clothes shops. I know Upminster, like many English towns has an overabundance of hairdressers, takeaways and beauticians leading one of our customers to state quiet categorically that it was a proven fact that Upminster was full of ugly women who can’t cook but have lovely hair. What could be the connection between opticians, pharmacies and babies clothes shops??
Anyway, we made sure that we looked in every shop in Millau but it was still only 10.30am when we got back to the van. I moved the van over to the service point and filled up with water and emptied everything else. This aire does have signs up stating that anything over 7.5m should really think about going somewhere else. Frankie is just under 7m but we struggled to get onto the service point. There were only 3 vans (and 32 spaces) while we moved about, it would be impossible to move once the site was half full, let alone full up.
Millau bridge, here we come. As we got higher and higher Lucy kept complaining that we wouldn’t be able to see anything due to the mist and then all of a sudden we were above the clouds and in brilliant sunshine. We got onto the A75 and just before the tolls was a turnoff for the viewing point.
They wouldn’t let Frankie up to the viewing gallery so we had to leave him all on his lonesome.
What a fantastic sight. The vertical columns are the highest supports for any bridge in the world and you can see how quickly the cloud was disappearing. There is about 15 minutes between first and last photo.
Here is Lucy on the beach at Portiragnes Plage (Number 64, Mediterranean). The aire itself can take 12 units but the pitch numbers go up to 30. There are no services on this aire (the sign says €5 per day but we’ve seen nobody to give the money to) and it looks like there is a new service point about 200 yards back down the road. The beach is just over a dune and is covered in very large clam shells and fine sand.
There are two groups of locals who were here when we arrived and four days later are still here. One group went off to the beach with what looked like chip pans on long stick and came back with big bags of what we can only guess were clams. They had a big communal meal but forgot to invite us.
We took a bike ride into the local town to buy some essential supplies such as cider and got back just in time for the clouds to clear so it has been very hot sitting in the sun reading our books and drinking cider.
On the way into town we had to cross the Canal du Midi, started in 1667 and taking 14 years to complete, it links the River Garonne in Toulouse to the Mediterranean sea This is the lock in Portiragnes and it looks like it has been extended in length at least once. The original lock has the curved side walls, any idea why the walls are curved?
We were planning on leaving Tuesday morning and heading for Beziers but it was Armistice day and from what we can see everywhere will be closed so we hope to up early Wednesday morning and make our move. We’ve been here for four days and need to top up with water and wine soon.