74km Narbonne – Sainte Marie sur Mer

Our day started with a beautiful drive through the nature reserves surrounding Narbonne, a much better alternative to the busy N9 which leads to Perpignan. At this time of year the small road we took was very quiet and we enjoyed seeing pink flamingoes from Africa in the lakes along the road. The village of Bages was also on our route, a small fishing port where we also saw doors decorated with the paws of wild boar – a sign of a home where a talented hunter lives. We counted 32 wild boar paws on one door in the village. We did have to diverge briefly back onto the N9 but thankfully only for a few kilometers before cutting off again towards the town of La Palma and a road which once again took us along the Mediterranean coast. The beautiful nature continued for a short time but soon the sprawl of holiday resorts took over and towards the end of the day we rode through an endless string of apartments – all fairly ugly and empty this time of year – and closed shops. A bit like a ghost town. The beaches were empty too, aside from the odd fisherman. We found one camping spot open in the town of Sainte Marie and decided to grab it. It came with access to a jacuzzi so that was 12 euros well spent!

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