It seems that we are fated to meet up with enthusiastic athletes. In Bilbao last year we arrived on the night of their marathon. Today, our route plans were rather disrupted by the Millau 100k, not only a marathon but a much extended run along the course of the Tarn. We were heading to Pezenas but our route of choice was closed for this event.
However, we said farewell to Etienne (himself a keen runner) and Adeline, owners and hosts of Villa La Muse this morning. We’d arrived as guests and parted as friends, which is as it should be. We hope to return in a couple of years. Our revised route to Pezenas took us to Les Vignes, away from the gorge and onto the causse or plateau. Driving across the causse, we joined the autoroute and crossed the Millau Viaduct, whereafter it was an hours drive to Pezenas.
Pezenas is not an easy town to negotiate even without a braderie taking place. Anyway, I managed to find a temporary spot near to our B&B, albeit on a red and white striped piece of tarmac saying ‘access pompiers’. We were only there long enough to unload and a space became available in a small car park nearby. Once settled in our huge room and after lugging the suitcases up a spiral stone staircase, we thought we’d have a walk round the old town.
This area of Pezenas is filled with small artisan boutiques and you can easily while away a few hours wandering round. We walked up one narrow street (this area is the old Jewish Quarter) and I heard a cats plaintive cries. Looking up I could see a very thin black cat, enclosed in a wire basket which was wedged on a window sill. The owner of the boutique below was concerned and tried to access the apartment but without any response from the occupier. He then got a ladder and climbed the last part to the cat and I believe gave it food and water. Just after, two municipal policemen arrived and with the help of other boutique owners put on an unrehearsed acrobatic act, while an intrepid policeman got up to window level and shone a torch through to see if there was anyone at home. By this time, we were suffering with hunger pangs and unfortunately went in search of coffee and crepe before we knew what the outcome was.
We came back to the B&B where we got ready for dinner, in the restaurant attached to (and underneath) the letting rooms. It was an excellent meal, even though it was burgers and not our usual gourmet fare.
Tomorrow we’ll have breakfast and lunch out (probably only separated by an hour or so) and wander round some more. Luckily the weather has again improved and I’ve managed to cast off my jumper. Who knows what else I’ll manage to throw aside on Sunday…