Just 12 days after we had said au revoir to Narbonne and had taken Le Bullet Train, via Montpellier, back at breakneck speed to Paris, post tropical Cyclone, become Hurricane Leslie, made landfall on the Iberian Peninsula bringing severe weather conditions to that neck of the woods! A few days later the tail of Hurricane Leslie headed to Carcassonne and Meteo France issued a red alert for rain and potential flooding in the very area that we, just two weeks earlier, had spent idly cruising and boozing, (and losing) in. The department of Aude in south western France!
47 Hurricane Leslie heading straight for the department of Aude in South Western France
What happened on that fateful day of Monday, October 15th 2018 was devastating and 14 lives were taken as the River Aude reached levels not seen in a hundred years! The water level was five metres higher than normal in places and villages, houses, bridges, cars and people were washed away in the torrents, not to mention boats! Four times the average October rainfall fell in just six hours!
48 The once idyllic harbour of Trébes! Boats washed ashore and wedged between jetty and canal!
Carcassonne and Trébes were hit badly and the towns closed down as rescue workers raced through the air in helicopters and on high ground as the rivers and canals were impossible to negotiate!
49 We were moored about 100 metres from this Supermarché in Carcassonne! We had walked across that park as we made our way through the New Town up to the Fortress Town!
As the news started dribbling through to us in the relative safety of South Africa, we were shocked to see pictures of devastation of the very areas we had been in! We could feel the danger and subsequent pain!
50 If you happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, you were not spared! No prisoners were taken as can be seen by this dramatic picture!
We were so lucky about our timing, but feel for those who lost loved ones and their homes and also the trip of a lifetime that must have been curtailed for many, with hopefully no tragic circumstance!
Eric Clapton and Tears in Heaven:
St Vincent School For The Deaf helping the hard of hearing to listen:
Down Durban way The Fulton School for The Deaf:
Abraham Kriel Childcare group, caring while we work:
The Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped was opened in 1970, and for the amazing work they do for the less fortunate they deserve great accolades: