Friday, August 6, 2010
Day thirteen – Salvetat sur Agout
One of the two excellent guide books we brought with us builds its chapters around suggested drives, usually loops that would easily fill a day. We decided to adapt one of these involving a trip into the mountains to visit La Salvetat sur Agout. We headed back to Olargues before turning north up the mountainside. The scenery behind us grew more and more impressive as we climbed 1000 metres through a mix of forest, scrub and rock face. And then down the other side into a completely different landscape with a decidedly alpine feel. When we got out for lunch we discovered the temperature was also a bit alpine – warm in the sun but quite chill each time the clouds rolled by. A nearby outdoor store had a rack of polar fleece on display which was very tempting! El had what she says is the best omelette she has ever tasted. We think it was made with local sheep’s cheese and I was equally happy with the Serrano ham in my paysane salad.
We took a half hour loop around man made Lac de la Reviage. Obviously a popular destination for campers and boaters (some were swimming but we didn’t fancy it) but a much more peaceful atmosphere than the seaside. As we took a different route back to our main road we encountered a local cycle team struggling up the hill. Seeing up close what it looks like to pedal 10 Km up a near continuous 6 degree incline gave us a new respect for the Tour de France riders we had recently watched on TV.
At this point we were anticipating a 30 minute run back to our lodgings so as to spend the rest of the afternoon laying around the pool. Not quite! Unfortunately it took some time to realize that we had taken the wrong cut-off and were now miles off track heading for St. Chinian deep in the heart of wine country. We decided to cut across country on little back roads and work our way home that way. This was quite nerve racking because we were never entirely certain we were on the right road although in fact we always were. Other than depriving us of some planned sunbathing, it was one of those delightful little adventures that every holiday should include. We had the narrow winding roads mostly to ourselves and views of vine covered hills rolling away as far as the eye could see.
After a little quiet time on our terrace we had our own simple meal of caprese salad and chicken left over from the day before. The wine is gone, the food is gone, and suitcases are packed as tomorrow we head back to Barcelona. All the remaining clean clothes are in one suitcase and the ‘dirties’ in another. I jokingly asked if I should organize the dirties according to dark load or coloured load ready for the laundry when we get home and El actually thought about it!