The 4am alarm clock wasn't pretty, but having driven up to Stansted the night before and stayed at the Radisson Blu, I had little to do other than fall out of bed and into the airport. Despite the Radisson having a rather interesting bar... I was well behaved and had retired to bed by ten pm.
The small matter of disassmbling and bagging the bike out of the way I was soon onto the "luxurious" Ryanair flight and even with a pilot who looked little older than my nephew (a sign of getting old I feel) we landed in Perpignan about ten minutes early.
The only thing to slightly upset the flight was a very disappointing "full English breakfast" which arrived in a cardboard box. None the less, a very uneventful journey to the south of France.
Having reassembled the bike and loaded up with my gear I was ready to set off.
This is the "reduced / bare essentials" look I'm sporting this year ;
The new inflatable sleeping mat being another sign of age creeping up on me!
The days riding was fairly pleasant having gotten through the industrial estate on which Perpignan airport sits.
Most of the riding was along lanes and tracks running parallel to the main roads;
It was great to get out on the bike again in the open countryside, cycling through vineyards of the Corbierres region.
I did take a little break just to peruse some of the local produce...
But in the main I just cycled straight to the first campsite which is my staging post for a jaunt inland to Carcassonne tomorrow. Port-La-Nouvelle is somewhat more industrial than picturesque but seems a friendly enough place;
So having pitched the tent and locked up the bike it was time for a shower and a wander into town.