Leaving Carcassonne along the upstream banks of the Aude River took us south into the foothills of the Pyrenees. The area is covered in vines in vigorous spring growth; vibrant lime green leaves waking gnarled old stumps from their winter slumber.
A long ride of gentle climbing took us to our next, two night, destination at Axat, a delightful village on the banks of the Aude River in the northern reaches of the Pyrenees.
Our billet was a well appointed Chambre de Hôte run by an English couple. By coincidence Graham, a former national cycle champion, also runs a bike hire and guided cycle ride business. At his suggestion, the following day (Saturday) we did a circular ride taking in the very spectacular Gorges de Galamus. A full on headwind made the final 15 miles back to Axat something of an exercise in endurance.
Moving on again, Sunday saw us head for Torreilles, a small Catalan village, on the Mediterranean coast just north of Perpignan. Blessed with beautiful sunny day, glorious scenery and a net descent, the 48 mile ride was a joy.