Estagel - Durban/Corbieres: Col d'Extreme - France: Between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

September 6, 2007

Estagel - Durban/Corbieres: Col d'Extreme

Today we do some more climbing. We cross another col, with headwinds and with panniers, and for our age - both of us are in our upper sixties - I give us another couple of points. Again the cols aren't the highest, but I get a great feeling of satisfaction from the climb.

Great views all day
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Between Tuchan and Durban is the Col d'Extrême, and I was a bit worried how extreme it was going to be. As it turns out, it is a moderate but continuous climb, but not steep at any point. I kept waiting for the bad part to come and then I saw the sign announcing that we were at the top.

It's not very high, but it's a col nevertheless
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As for the wind today, sometimes we have to pedal downhill and still don't get faster than 15 km/h, other times the hills shelter us from the wind.

Cathar country, but where are the castles?
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The scenery is beautiful the whole day - vineyards, mountains, clear air, vivid colors. For all my talk about going to the Cathar Country, today we see our first and last Cathar castle, our token Cathar castle, predictably perched on top of a mountain and predictably we don't go up.

Aguilar: Cathar castle
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In Durban signs to the campground lead us across the river and out of town. The further we go, the surer I am that we're on a wild goose chase. The campground is bound to be closed, this is September, school has started and the French are all back home. But the camping in Durban is open. It's quite new, is well tended and a notice asks us to choose our site, the person in charge will come by at 6 o'clock to register us. The campground even provides picnic tables and benches and we spend the late afternoon writing in our journals in comfort.

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