Toulouse to Narbonne – Day One

I was supposed to be taking the opportunity of a wife-less month and do a 4-day ride from Toulouse back to Montpellier last weekend, but the god of crappy weather had other plans. I did do at least part of the trip before bonking after two days. Here is day one. I started early and took the train up to Toulouse. Here is a dedicated bike compartment on my Corail Teoz.


I guess I did have luck in Toulouse. The sun was out at least, and my route – the Canal du Midi – was literally steps from the train station.


Toulouse is yet another French city with an excellent system of bike rentals. This one is totally automated.


The cycling path along the canal goes for a good 50 km, and I more than once thanked the guy who built it for planting those trees on either side…the wind was really ripping up the valley.


Yes, that’s snow.

The Canal du Midi is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its engineering as well at its artistic value. I didn’t really understand that 2nd part till I rode it. The designer really could have made the thing go in a straight line all the way down the valley, but instead it is a lovely, meandering waterway, much like a slow-moving river. It’s a real pleasure to ride, even when it’s 4 degrees. Here are a few random shots along the way.






Then all too soon it was over, and the paved cycling path turned into this.


Which might have been OK, but it was a little muddy in places and I’m a wuss. So, I headed out to the road and past this ominous sign.


Those blades were really turning…pointed the wrong direction! Luckily it was only another 15 km to Castelnaudary, with its protein-overdose-inducing dish called ‘cassoulet’, and hopefully hot bath.

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