April 10, 2024 – Murat-sur-Vebre – La Salvetat-sur-Agout – 22kms – Hotel Pergolas

April 11, 2024 – La Salvetat-sur-Agout – Bouisset – 28 Kms – Gite Communal

We are spending our third and final night in the hills of Haute Languedoc.  Our days at elevations of 700 to 1100 metres have coincided with the passage of a vigorous cold front.  It is always a few degrees cooler in the mountains, but the passage of the cold front put the weather in the winter category, at least by the standards of coastal British Columbia.  Yesterday and the day before the daily temperature range was 2 to 9 degrees.  Combined with winds of 35 kms/ hour, gusting to 70, the wind chill was in the -4 range.

The first day caught Ruth and I a little unprepared, and we both got a bit chilled.  On the second day we knew what to expect and dressed appropriately, which in my case included pants (yes, I do own some), a Camino buff as a toque, and some very chic gants de chaussettes.  Wearing everything we brought, we were both fairly comfortable during the walk / ride.

Today was the transition day, with a morning low of 2 degrees, but afternoon highs of 16.  The sun is out and the wind has dropped: beautiful spring conditions for a walk or ride in the hills.  Tomorrow we descend to Castres, where the afternoon high is forecast to be 27 degrees.  We will have summer conditions for several days.

Several years ago we attended a lecture by a couple regarding their experiences on the Chemin de Arles.  They seemed to have some real reservations about recommending it, indicating that there were few pilgrims and minimal infrastructure.  That has not been our experience at all.  There are admittedly few pilgrims, perhaps 5 to 10 per day, but that just makes the encounters more important.  We have found that there is more than enough accommodation and food, at a variety of intervals and price points.  The Haute Languedoc is a less visited region of France, but we have received a warm welcome.  The villages are perhaps a little less buffed and polished than in some other regions, but any larger town has a medieval core and some interesting streets and buildings.  The countryside is largely wooded and the daily walks have been gorgeous, with a diverse range of flowers and birds.

We are frequently asked which Camino route is our favourite.  Ruth’s stock answer is that it’s the one we are currently on.  The Chemin de Arles is no exception; we are having a blast, even on the winter days.

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