Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Cathedral of Orvieto...returning to Luchon

Originally uploaded by Kate Potter
Today I was very scared....and lots of praying took place, hence this photo of the famous Orvieto Cathedral.
Ian and I woke up at 5am and returned to our home in Luchon. Our journey was going well and we thought so long as we didn't have any problems we would be back in Luchon by early evening. Paul phoned us to see where we were, and he confirmed that we were making good time. I made the mistake of saying, well so long as we don't have any problems.....
We were about 4hrs away from Luchon when we noticed hundreds and hundreds and hundred of lorries and buses were parked up on the outside lane of the motor way we were travelling on. We also kept seeing electronic signs stating we were in a high wind area. Then we felt it....only a gentle breeze at first, before a huge gust of wind every now and then that made our little vehicle shudder. We carried on and were only a short distance away from out turn off to Luchon when the winds became really intense. We ended up seeing lorries blown over and large vehicles, that refused to stop, being blown from side to side. Trees were flying in every direction and there were rocks and garbage blown all over the motor way that we had to swerve to try and avoid. Then, the little traffic that was on the road came to a standstill, as two lorries had been blown over and blockd the entire three lanes. For over an hour we were parked up beside a bus that kept shaking everytime a gust of wind hit it. Our car felt quite secure, but what terrified me was when we drove past larger vehicles that weren't coping with the high winds, and I kept thinking they might end up crushing us.
When we reached our turn off to Toulouse the Gendarme closed the motorway and we were forced to continue south to Perpignon. From Perpignon we headed onto a B road that we hoped would take us to Luchon. Luckily we were protected from the high winds, but the road was tight, with plenty of twists and turns to test us. It ended up being an extra three hour loop back to the motorway which we hoped would be open, as it was dark and we had been driving for over 15hrs. No luck, we were forced to find a B&B and wait until the next day to continue our journey home.

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