Not sure why they’re called the Black Mountains. They’re not black, and they’re barely mountains. They should’ve called them the Nice Gorges. Or something to that effect.
Anyways. In an effort to get familiar with the riding here, I went for a brief afternoon stint.
This is the route I followed.
I didn’t take any pictures, I couldn’t be bothered. I did film with the GoPro a bit.
Going to St Pons was fantastic. Typical Black Mountains scenery, hillside road in the woods, popping out on to fields. I stopped at a viewpoint. Not sure what it’s called. Or why I didn’t take a picture or 2. It was nice though! I spent a good bit of time just sitting on the rocks looking around.
Then headed for Mazamet and back down via Lastours. The first part of this, right out of Mazamet was a pita. The road was covered in gravel for kms and kms. That’s already unpleasant on normal roads … but when you’re alongside a rather deep gorge, wondering if you’re going to go straight at every corner … fuck that shit. I didn’t like it one bit. Shame, because it was beautiful, but seriously, fuck gravel. Ruined everything.
Oh! I got chased by a dog at some point. In a village, General Dumbass (that’s how the dog shall henceforth be known) crosses the road right in front me … I brake, swerve and shout “AAHHHHH DOOOOOG!” (not necessarily in that order), avoid le pooch of course (that’s how talented I am) and go on my merry way, putting about. As I’m exiting the village … a glance in the mirror reveals General Dumbass running after me, in the ditch. Who runs in a ditch instead of … oh I dunno, the goddam road?! Stupid dog.
The following part, going back down onto Lastours was absolutely terrific. No more gravel and just kms and kms of tight downhill road, spotted with medieval villages hanging on the hillside. Like in the postcards, but for real. They also have people living there, somehow.
Arriving in Carcassonne revealed quite some traffic. After a brief “wtf traffic? it’s not even a real city!” moment … I feel like Noah as cars move over slightly to the right to let me through. A common practice over here. Sweet stuff.