The autotrain took me through the night from Düsseldorf/Germany and spit me out in Narbonne/France. Narbonne, almost on the foothills of the Pyrenees-Mountains, is already close to the Spanish border but my starting point Marseilles is about 260kms east.
My first ride went to a hill with a chapel, called Forca Real. From there you're facing Mount Canigou and the Pyrenees. If you turn around, well there's the sea, that will accompany me the next 9 months.
The region itself is called Pays de Cathare, the land of the Cathares. A hilly country full of ruins from ancient fortresses. Right here the only crusade against a Christian community took place, the Crusade against the Cathares. We'll see that lateron. Between me and the Pyrenees is the valley of Conflent. Just before Mount Canigou rises there's the village of Prades.
Before I set of for Marseilles I take a first look through the Pays de Cathare.
As you may have noticed, the bike is not white but gray instead. The should have been white, but the tank manufacturer in OZ could not deliver a white tank. So I start the journey on a gray HP2, waiting to swap colour and bike lateron.