2. Mar, 2020

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MONDAY 2-3-20

We had a lovely peaceful night hidden away round the corner from the main Truckstop parking area. Today's plan was to make our way to a Truckstop on the Toll Road in the Carcassonne area, a journey of about 250 miles. Yesterday was a very windy wet day and today was no different. In fact I think the wind was even stronger today and at one point a huge gust pushed me part way in to the next carriageway which caused me to slow right down for a while and sit behind the HGV's.

As we headed south we began to wonder if they had closed the Millau Bridge due to the strength of the wind, if they had it would have added a big chunk to the journey as we would have had to wind our way down the mountain, across the gorge and then, like a mountain goat climb back up the other side.  We stopped for lunch about twenty miles before the bridge and we had a bit of luck. I had already managed to dump our grey water down a drain at the truckstop this morning, and the aire we had stopped at had a toilet block. My eyes lit up and before we left I had dumped the black water in to a cubicle containing a Shanks Squatter and loaded forty litres of fresh water from the taps outside used by the HGV driver for food preparation. That now took the pressure off us as far as facilities go and there should now be enough water for a nice hot shower in the morning.

Fortunately the bridge had remained open and we gladly paid the toll fee of €8.90 which is money well spent as it saved so much time and grief.

We seem to have burnt more fuel than we would normally expect to, but given that we have had to contend with very strong head and side winds as well as gusting it's little wonder.

We arrived here at the Truckstop near Carcassonne at about 15:30 and were soon greeted by a thunderstorm with heavy rain and hail . We had managed to get off the road just in time. The cunning plan has always been to go directly to a Camperstop on the outskirts of Carcassonne, as listed in the 2016 edition I was using to put the trip together. Unfortunately the 2020 edition isn't due out until later this month which was no good to me and so I invested in a 2019 edition. It was then that I noticed that the Carcassonne Camperstop was no longer listed. That may have been an oversight by the local mayor or the publishers, but on the other hand they may have chosen to no longer offer the facility. Hence the reason for us stopping short of the city. Had we gone straight there and couldn't spend the night there we'd have had to come back up on to the toll road just so we could stop at a Truckstop.

The plan now is for us to go straight to the Camperstop in the morning to park up. If they still permit overnight parking then we'll spend tomorrow night there having spent the day looking round, and maybe even a second day there. But if overnight parking is now banned we'll just park there for the day and leave town in the evening heading back to a Camperstop.

The only outstanding problem now is our lack of internet access. It is so frustrating both The Chef's and my MiFi's were tested with new sim cards in them back at home and they worked just fine - but not now. It's something very straightforward to sort if you know what you're doing, but I don't, even though I have spent a great deal of time trying to sort it.

It will have to be sorted of course, but in the meantime we have no way of knowing what's going on in the world, nor can I begin uploading this tosh to the blog.

We are now almost at the end of the 'work' period of the trip, that is, getting us down here to the start point. It's been rather taxing but hopefully it will be worth it, though with no news update regarding the coronavirus outbreak we could discover on entering Spain in a day or two we've just driven in to a giant leper colony with no way out.

Fingers crossed.