Sunday, 20 June 2010

Paziols in the Hautes Corbières area of Languedoc-Roussillon

Andy and Sadie arrived back in one piece on Thursday, albeit totally knackered - Andy, that is, not Sadie. The weather on Thursday, Friday and Saturday was truely appalling so I was looking forward to our holiday in what was hopefully the slightly better climate of the Languedoc Roussillon just inland from Perpignan, an area that is only 2 1/2 hours from us. So after only 2 nights at home, I dragged Andy away to the little village of Paziols, where it was grey and showery and very very windy when we arrived yesterday evening Today the skies have pretty much cleared but a very strong wind continues to buffet us here. With gusts of up to 95kph forecast for the next 24 hours we have had to abandon any idea of a roadie ride until Tuesday unfortunately, but there is still plenty for us to see and explore.

This is the view from the sunny little roof terrace of our old house in Paziols. It's not a bad spot.It's a lovely old village, nestled amongst the Fitou vineyards of the Corbières - it will be impossible to avoid some wine tasting and most probably purchasing of the local product while we are here .... which is a shame .

Today, we had a wander up to the Chateau d'Aguilar near Tuchan which is just 5 mins away from Paziols.
The old Cathare chateau is the little brother to the grander Chateau de Peyrepetuse and Chateau de Quéribus which are 10-15 mins away from us, but still occupies a dominant position as it looks down onto the surrounding plain. It is if course surrounded by vineyards
But with an entrance fee of €3.50 to see a load of old stones (yeah, I know, hush my mouth), we opted to explore the tracks that led up the hillside behind the chateau instead, from where we got great views towards Paziols village and Mont Canigou in the distance
The limestone edge of la Serre cut a striking figure ahead of us
En route, this little chap was making quite a racket!We collected bunches of wild rosemary, wild fennel leaves, some kind of wild mint, thyme, wild garlic and numerous wild flowers which are native to the 'Garrigue', or Mediterranean scrubland, which I am going to try and identify.More exploring tomorrow and most probably a local run on some of the excellent paths and tracks that run immediately from the village here. I am already enjoying the change of scenery. In due course, when Sadie is a fully functioning camper van, we are looking forward to spending a lot more time away exploring areas such as this all over France. Let the adventure begin!

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