We travelled north along the coast past Tarragona, Barcelona, Gerona and on into France before turning west from Perpignan on the D117. It was 27° and windy when we stopped for lunch just before the French border; as we left the restaurant it had clouded over and had started to rain. The temperature dropped to 21° as we climbed into the hills. It was a spectacular drive through wine producing country and the vineyards stretched away to the mountains in the distance. Then road followed the River Aude into high country, through a ravine with overhanging rocks where folk braver than us were able to do white water rafting. At the other side of the ravine was the town of Quillan.