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TDE2012 – day 4: Grand-Canyon & the plateau – Le Vigan > Limoux

after a very restful night we start out earlier than yesterday.

first thing i saw from my room - it'll be a very nice day!

first thing i saw from my room – it’ll be a very nice day!

we are looking forward to a new day with lots of new landscapes 🙂

our small hotel where our TWIKE was parked just outside our rooms

our small hotel where our TWIKE was parked just outside our rooms

we start at about 150m above sea level and headed up to a plateau at about 800m. vegetation is completely different here: only small trees and shrubs seem to survive.

driving on the plateau

driving on the plateau

the plateau greets us with small windy roads and eventually with one of the sights on TDE2012 I was looking forward to: a real canyon cut into the plateau. it looked very impressive on terrain view and then even more so on street view…but to be able to see it live: wow!

the canyon

the canyon

moments like these make us understand that it is impossible to see such sights if you are less intrepid. it’s half an hour driving out into the Styx, not crossing any cars doing so and then … boom, you’re there. nothing else can be found here: no infrastructure, no other sights, no other humans, just this nature-made spectacle … and we loved it!

back in india?

back in india?

after descending from the plateau towards le vans, normal trees and vegetation start again. we notice however, that the sun is getting hotter with every km we travel south. we then start to climb again over our usual set of hills here in the south of france and just love every metre of road we drive on:

we charge at a camping site where we enjoy some cold drinks. meanwhile, TW231 munches away on 32A of fresh electrons!

the heat is a real problem whilst charging: our controller is showing 65°C, whilst we measure 72°C on our external chargers > and they are operating in the shade!

after just 75 minutes, TW231 has completely recharged and we set off towards Limoux.
yet again, the afternoon sees us climbing up some hills and presents us with some stunning vistas.

an attempt to get a TDE2012 team picture

an attempt to get a TDE2012 team picture

sometimes, we are out of mobile phone coverage for over an hour and are glad that google maps now offers an offline buffering mode! (and even if we then get back to some kind of reception, 1 bar of gsm/gprs (not edge) doesn’t help much either…)

NO mobile signal!

NO mobile signal!

not being reachable and not being able to communicate with the usual immediacy has a profound impact on me – as an online junkie seeing all these people living and evidently having a good time without all these communication options (some of them didn’t even have any phone at all) made me think how far this ubiquitous net availability has shaped how we are (I am) and to see how useless a smart phone without internet connectivity actually is!

the sun slowly sets by the time we arrive in Limoux. we find a small hotel on the main village square, settle down and go out to eat. Limoux is – like privas – a quaint little southern French village with the same charme as privas > only the local French dialect is more pronounced as in privas.

le vigan, another quaint french village!

le vigan, another quaint french village!

the midi is just a magical place to be. anyone should visit this beautiful region sometime in their lifetime!

help! a medieval church got in the way of the view from my hotel room!

help! a medieval church got in the way of the view from my hotel room!

jc in vigan after a long day's drive

jc in vigan after a long day’s drive

ac in le vigan, after a long day's drive

ac in le vigan, after a long day’s drive

on another note, I’ve been trying to get online with my laptop to update some TDE2012 entries, since my 200mb roaming data allowance from my mobile phone is restricted to navigation and hotel searches. I have found it very difficult to send our pictures to flickr, my home server for backup reasons and to emissionless.ch since every evening until now the uplink speed was awful (privas for example was 64kbit/s or about 6-7 kbyte/s) … our hotel in Limoux has free wifi and I’m currently uploading multiple streams to the different services at a maximum of 380kbit/s… let’s see how long this transfer will take!