This was supposed to be the easiest day of the trip. It had come about because we decided a couple of days ago to end the trip in Barcelona, as originally planned, rather than head over to Majorca to do the last 100 miles there. With our target of 1000 miles in total, we needed to add some during the trip. Basing ourselves in Narbonne and doing an out-and-back trip seemed like a good idea and it meant we would travel luggage-free for a day It should have meant the opportunity to add more miles, leaving us fewer to do in the final two days.
We resorted to Google again for directions and all was well when we set off. Almost immediately after leaving the built-up areas of the city we were riding on small but well-surfaced country roads, some of which ran through vineyards. It didn’t last long. Before long we were being directed along almost non-existent trails and finally ended up with nowhere to go in a swamp.
We backtracked, losing an hour of cycling time and the rest of the day saw numerous repetitions of Google Maps’ inadequacy. It does state the cycling routes are in ‘Beta’, which means still being tested. They can be useful going through towns but are pretty much useless in the French countryside.
Anyhow, in the end, we reached Cap de Agne, had a quick look around, then headed back. We used our printed map in the main, navigating carefully between small villages to find the most direct route back to Narbonne from a tangle of country lanes.
We got back at 9pm, more tired than we’d ever been and with just 90 miles to show for it. Our buffer of 10 miles from the previous day was gone but at least we were still on target – 8 days and 800 miles into the trip.