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Viaduc de Millau

Having ridden under the viaduct, we decided to spend €16 for the péage and drive over the top.

First, we needed to post a necklace to Roberta, inadvertently left in Bev’s purse . . . not so easy as we expected! After trying to buy a little card with envelope and stamp we discover there’s yet another disadvantage of Brexit! A Tabac no longer sells postage stamps to the UK, you have to visit la Poste (fewer in number and more limited opening hours). OK, so we find la Poste in Millau. A very helpful receptionist advised us how to use the ‘Douane’ machine and after half an hour of form-filling online as well as on the special package we’d had to purchase, the necklace was finally posted, €4.15. 

Our plan was to visit the Aire du Viaduc just after the A75 péage booths. It’s an excellent, worthwhile visit with viewing platform and very well presented videos, information panels and slide presentations. We then drove across the iconic viaduct. Built in just three years this amazing feat of engineering was conceived by Michel Virlogeux and designed by architect Lord Norman Foster. The multi-stayed viaduct is the world’s highest at 343 metres with seven concrete piers, pylons and a steel deck. It spans the Tarn valley stretching 2.460m and was opened in 2004.

Leaving it a bit late for a big tour of the area, we set off on a short scenic route into the Gorges du Tarn. The spectacular limestone outcrops, cliffs and caves deserve a longer tour than we had time for. Suddenly, there’s a warning we’re on the reserve fuel tank having forgotten to buy some in Millau. It’s also getting dark! After a bit of trawling the online apps, we find a free camping-car parking lot to stay overnight in Nant. At 1800 we park up in a deserted carpark on the edge of town, drink the last of the red wine with spaghetti carbonara for supper and hope for good weather again tomorrow.

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