Awoke to cars driving past the camp site. Another sleepless night. Awoke with headache which stayed all day. Another supermarket visit to buy breakfast of Crunchy Nut cornflakes, croissant (which were awful) fresh milk, tea and donuts. Today was our Sabbath, so to speak, so we went into town, dumped our washing at a ‘lavarie’ and went to the post office for aerogrammes. When we were walking back, we met the ‘maitresse du camping’ who was drinking water from a fountain. ‘Try it!’ We did. It was cold and sweet.
Back in the camp site, we dumped our things. I retrieved our washing from the lavarie and hung it out to dry on our tent. It was starting to get hot so we went to sit by the river in some shade. Next to the cool river, we sat writing letters, diaries and wading into the mountain water. It was lovely apart from the ants.
It was at about 1230 that we stopped for lunch of melon and a banana each. Writing letters was more of a task than I thought it would be. I wrote two to Penny and after that it became difficult so I lay down for a snooze. Waking up or coming round in that spot was very relaxing. A mountain was to the east, rising up with rocky outcrops and trees on one side. The sound of the river and the blue sky with the odd cloud in the sky, the green fields. I would like to come back here and mountain bike someday.
Later, we shopped for supper and the following day and came back to give our bikes a quick wipe down. Dan and I wrapped our film in tin foil to protect them against the heat. I hope it works. We spent the rest of the day rearranging our bags, packing away our washing and making tea.
Two young Frenchmen on mountain bikes returned to their tents at about 5pm just as Dan had taken off his unused toe clips. So, I went over and gave them the clips and straps. They seemed pleased and we started chatting about bikes. They came over and had a look at our bikes. Soon, they packed up and returned home to Pau. We noted they left wearing spotty handkerchiefs over their heads. We had a quick laugh at that.
Supper was sausages with herbs in tomato and onion sauce, tinned spuds, peas, carrots, Greek yoghurt with crunchy cornflakes, a peach and tea. Our kit seems to be well chosen. We use all our clothes, our pots and pans are just the right amounts and enough of them for other sauces. There is very little that we can get rid of to save weight. However, I wrote to Chris Cook, an old school friend who worked for Cotswold at the time, to ask him to send some SIGG water bottles to us in Algeciras because our water keeps overheating and is not very thirst quenching. We are now writing letter madly before we head into Spain tomorrow. I thought about home and Mum a lot today. I wrote a long letter to Penny today.
Dan and I played a game of ‘slow race’ on our bikes today too. It was a game that we played at Great Walstead School on sports’ day. Our bikes seemed light and frisky without kit on them. It was good fun but I lost.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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