Gorge roads

Months ago I watched a YouTube video of a spectacular gorge road near Quillan. You can see it here. On the basis of videos like that I thought it unlikely we would drive the D117 road, which is the shortest route between Quillan and the Mediterranean. I do want us to survive this trip, after all. However, yesterday we drove 10 km on that road to Axat and back, through the Gorges de Pierre Lys. It was a thrilling trip. I wanted to look at the cliffs above and river below but generally kept my eyes on the road.

Where did we go today? Good question. We went to Querigut, which involved first to Axat then south up the Aude river. Speed limit 90 but I felt an average of half that was about right on those roads. The Gorges de la Pierre-Lys and the Gorges de St George are equally spectacular and hair-raising. Hilary and Michael must have come through some of those roads with Susie a few years ago.

Have a look at the pictures below, then imagine driving on the right, in a new vehicle, uncertain whether a truck might be approaching from around the next bend. Yes, surprisingly, even some large trucks use those gorge roads.

Georges De La Piere-Lys Gorges de Saint George

3 thoughts on “Gorge roads

  1. Grandpa

    Yes, Stephen, we did that amazing road with Susie – in reverse, starting from Saillagouse – several years ago. It was thrilling, but the driver needs to be totally focussed on the road! For another thrill (more impressive than scary) I suggest you head for Le Mas-d’Azil on D119 from near Sabarat and then south. Take the D919 past Foix initially. You should take in the pretty town of St-Lizier before returning perhaps on on the D618 (another of our favourite “green” roads). The road at Le M-d’A zig-zags through a fantastic natural cave/grotto. If you park the car after going through and then walk back, you can go into the cavern on foot (but mind the fumes) or take a longer walking track around the exterior from where there’s apparently a great view. It’s one of the most remarkable natural road formations to be had. After Le Mas-d’A, near Maury (not the one you’ve already been to!) there’s a terrific Stations of the Cross above and behind a tiny hillside church. You could walk them. There’s so much for you to take in from where you’re living.

  2. Pingback: Defilé de Pierre-Lys | putitontheslate

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