As Kim and Toby missed the morning start yesterday we drive back towards Toulouse to see today’s start. Unfortunately we only arrive with 45 minutes to spare before the start and the crowd huge (only 15kms from the city and a holiday for Bastille Day). They manage to see a few of the riders as they make their way to the line.
We then set out to drive to Audressein in the Pyrenees – we set Charley on the ‘short route’ and lock out motorways and tolls – makes for an interesting trip and she takes us on a mixture of roads. The one car width rural roads are a bit of a treat for the kids and, as they pass through farms, David can have his tractor fix – he has been somewhat deprived in recent times.
Good thing we have Charley as we couldn’t find Audressein on our maps – one of a number of very tiny villages in a valley at the foot of the mountains – around 500 metres. We find our Auberge – a very quaint building with a river flowing rapidly beside. A notice on the door says the owners will not be back until 5.30 (2 hours) so we back track to a previous village where we had seen a café open (probably the only one for about 5 villages).
A very sixties café – must be a few hippies around. Janis Joplin blasting as only she can. We feed on coffee and hot chocolate and make the most of the free wifi – our information is that the hostel does not have the internet
When we book into the hostel later we notice that shelters are being set up outside and some of the road is taped off. We realise then that the Le Tour on the 16th is actually going to ride right past our hostel. We actually hope to go up the mountains a bit but if we are unable to we will have an awesome view from our second story rooms.
The hostel has a small restaurant and we all enjoy possibly the best meal this whole trip. A credit to the owners who also do the cooking.
We retire to our beds to the chimes of the village church bell and the river beside.