I arrived on the first day of the tour only knowing that James is the author of what is probably the most informative non-mystery loony internet site about the history of the Cathars in the French Languedoc Roussillon (for James' website Cathar Country, visit here).
I had also read his book Beyond Belief and knew that he had a encyclopedic knowledge of the history of theology and importantly a good sense of humour and a gift for putting complicated stories in to simple language.
We met up in the Pyreneen market town of Quillan and got acquainted with the other members of the tour with a meal all together.
The next morning we set off for Queribus and Peyrerperteuse. The morning mist rising up the valley was a really breath taking sight.
As we approached we saw the castles embedded in the stones. It was curious to try to see where the mountain ended and the castle began.
|Queribus September morning mist|
The view almost upstaged the chateau itself but the holes and views in the chateau walls combined the two wonders brilliantly, the ancient carved openings framing the truly majestic scenery of... Canigoue, the name of valley.
The climb up Peyreperteuse was really quite a hike with a rocky path hewn out of the hill top. Gnarled box wood and green oak skirted the path and brushed against us as we climbed. Sophie, James' wife had observed that it was the most rough difficult terrain that we would have during the week, I was frankly amazed by the octogenarians.
We did take our time and not hurry admiring the views as we went but even so they were amazing and even had breath for questions all the way and onwards.
James explained tirelessly. I was really impressed by how much we squeezed in to the day and yet the day did not feel rushed. We even had time for an unscheduled visit to the church in Cucignan.
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