We walk a lot. Some days it’s to the market in town; other days it’s to the hypermarket on the outskirts of town; but every day it’s to pick up a baguette (this is France, after all) and to walk along the river. The accompanying photo and the conglomeration of signs is what we encounter if we go on one particular route. What does it all mean?
The part of the Aude river that is closest to us is essentially a diverted stream that used to power the King’s linen mills on this side of the river. Now the water just provides a pleasant shimmering diversion, home to fish and ducks, alongside the pathway that we can walk for miles. As you approach what used to be the mills you notice two things: the sound of waterfalls that are part of the flood gate control system and all of those red and white signs in the photo.
Bill was reading in the paper that there’s some confusion about public vs. private property on what is an island between the main river and the diverted stream. The city seems to be saying that the roadway is public property since there are street lights, garbage pickup, and it’s included on the city’s tourism office’s walking map, but those are government-issued signs you see in the picture and based on the poor condition of the roadway it looks like there is no city maintenance. The residents have put up some of their own “private property” signs and it sure seemed to me that one woman tried to run us down while we were walking there.
Our solution has been to walk the route counter-clockwise which means we only see the backside of the “do not enter”, “no vehicular traffic”, and “no pedestrian signs” and we miss the “except residents” and the part about no camping. We still see that red and white striped pole, though, for which we have yet to discover the meaning. At least it matches the color scheme of all those signs!