The best thing about Beziers for us was the 9 Ecluses on the Canal du Midi. In fact there is a staircase of 6 locks, but if you count all the gates and the little gate at the end you get 9. They’re all electrically operated and controlled by a lock-keeper and only open for passage at certain times. As luck would have it we got there just as seven boats were going down the last couple of drops. The chambers are a sort of long oval shape; river cruisers fit in 3 or 4 at a time like big jig-saw pieces.
Thursday afternoon saw us in Carcassonne, or more precisely, La Cité. Much has been written about this 19th century restoration of a medieval fortified city, done by a bloke called Viollet-le-Duc in the Gothic-Disney style.
From Carcassonne we went south, through Limoux to Alet-les-Bains where we found an open campsite just before dusk. Val d'Aleth Camping gets ten out of ten in our book. We’d had 6 nights off grid so we were more than happy to get plugged in and make full use of a washing machine and a very clean shower block.
On Friday morning we left as late as possible so our washing had every chance of drying then carried on with the Kate Mosse tour. We went south to Couiza, and then to Rennes-les-Bains. (Dave reckons Les Bains ought to be a northern stand-up comic.) We followed the road to Bugarach, where we parked and went for a stroll around the village. Somehow this turned into a two and a half hour trek through the mountains following signs for a roman bridge. We found the bridge; it was very high up, narrow and had no sides.