This section was ruled by the heat, which increased every day, making our progress more and more of an endurance test. Nevertheless we found plenty of moments to enjoy as we moved steadily towards the beginning of the Cathar Way.
After the first day we were among the flocks of summer tourists who had arrived on the Mediterranean beaches. It was quite a shock to us to see the frantic commercial vulgarity of it all, something we had never seen before in France (except around the Eiffel Tower). For the final three days we were never more than a metre or so above sea-level, surrounded by shallow salt marshes. We even did the next best thing to walking on water when we took a canal towpath across an inlet of the sea.
As it turned out, that was the end of our year’s walk. The heat was so extreme that we decided not to attempt the Cathar Way, which was to have been the third stage of our itinerary.
Day 14: Saint-Thibéry to Valras-Plage
Day 15: Valras-Plage to St-Pierre-la-Mer
Day 16: Saint-Pierre-la-Mer to Gruissan
Day 17: Gruissan to Port-la-Nouvelle