France, Languedoc Roussillon, Hérault

Agde to Sete - 26.3 km - Thursday 28th October 2010

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Industrial estate. Air pollution. Quiet lane. Busy Road. Seaside road closed to traffic. Cycle path. Sete sea front and harbour.

Garmin Altitude Plot Garmin Mapsource Google Earth Agde River L Herault Agde River L Herault Main Road Was Busy Marseillan Plage Marseillan Plage Sete Marseillan Plage Marseillan Plage Marseillan Plage Marseillan Plage Tour Coast Road Closed Coast Road Closed Coast Road Closed Dunes Dunes Restoration Sete Sete Cycle and Foot Path Sete Sete Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Castle Sete Cemetery and Light House Sete Hunting Cat Sete Cat Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour Sete Harbour

Diary - Top

It was the 07:22 train as usual but only to the first stop, Agde. Tomorrow there will be no morning train so an even earlier start will be possible.

The choices of route out of Agde were limited. Wade through wetlands. Go through an industrial estate or use the main road. The CR1 cycle route used the main road. The industrial estate got Neil's vote although it was pretty horrible. There was a temperature inversion so all the fumes and smokes remained at ground level and with no wind, the smell of diesel sulphur got quite bad. This lasted 4km. A happy error at the start of the walk led to a shop with entier bread (wholemeal) and smoked salmon.

Phase two was a kilometre on a narrow track fading to nothing. This ran parallel with the main road and ended in a salt marsh bog where you get sucked down or killed by the hound of the Baskervilles. Even worse than these fates, the main road was now the only route. There was a path of sorts on the right hand side of the road. This lasted 1.4km but felt much longer. Oddly the CR1 route used the boggy path in preference to the road.

Now things improved. A residential road ran parallel with the main road for a while. Then there were cycle and foot paths and finally the road traffic was diverted onto a new road, not yet on Google Earth, and the original coast road was closed to motorised traffic. This leg was very nice and it was sunny with a cooling breeze, sufficient to keep the beach empty. It lasted 11km. Wonderful.

Sète was busy both with port and sea side town activity. Large ships use the port as well as fishing boats and the inevitable pleasure craft. The town has lots of canals so it's like a mini Venice without the gondolas and water taxies. It would be a nice place to have a holiday but the next leg of the walk is calling so a 20 minute walk through is all it's getting.

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