In which we take an unusual diversion..

On Monday we woke to thundery rain and a sharp drop in temperature. We had a lazy morning and by the time we were due to go out for lunch, the weather had improved. Maggie was taking us to the Relais de Mirepoix which turned out to be delightful. A lovely setting, delicious food, friendly service and a warm welcome from Emma, who knew Susie from her ‘previous incarnation’ when she was resident in the Ariege. The food really was exceptional and it’s certainly a restaurant we’ll visit again if we can.

The rest of the day we spent making preparations for our return the next day. Tuesday morning we said farewell to Maggie and began our drive to the Auberge Duypuytren where we’d broken our journey on the way down. The journey didn’t commence until we’d popped into the pharmacy, the supermarket (for wine) and I’d filled up (with diesel for the car, I should clarify). I programmed the satnav and immediately confused it by having to take diversion because of roadworks on the way out of Lavelanet. This took us (as only French ones can) in many differing directions, ending up down a no through road. I saw the Citroen in front take a left turn to nowhere, or so it seemed. But no, the contractors had cut a temporary road (tarmaced) across the local soccer pitch which brought us out just after the works. It was a tad disturbing to drive past goalposts, but in these cases we generally just look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, ‘it’s so French’.

The rest of the drive was uneventful (and boring if I’m honest) and we spent another restful evening at the auberge, which we’d use again. Another hot and sticky drive the next day, broken only by a quick French autoroute service area meal. It proved that despite the autoroute being superior to and more costly than a UK motorway, it doesn’t improve the food. At least the fries were nice….

We came home to a clean home, well looked after animals and a wonderful meal from our house sitters, Stephen and Ariel. Such was their impeccable service, we’ve asked them to come again. Just a few weeks till the next adventures in Durham, Poland and Berlin…you can’t keep these OAP globetrotters down…


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