Sunday, November 16, 2008
On The Road Again
A view this morning from halfway up the climb, looking down over Quillan towards the Gorge de Pierre Lys
Home from the excitement of the Obamathon. We arrived at 2 a.m. yesterday morning, having driven from Gerona in Spain. We hadn't been in bed long when the doorbell rang. Nobody there. I went back to bed, shivering because the house was very cold after being empty for 3 weeks. Just nodding off when the bell went again. Still nobody there. This is not the first time it has happened - the last time was accompanied by spontaneously snapping guitar strings (nobody was touching the guitar at the time) - and it is a little spooky. Figuring that not even spooks can ring a bell with no batteries, I removed them in order to get some sleep.
After all this, it was a little later than usual when we awoke. There were things to be done in Lavelanet, so we drove over there. It was cold and very bright. From the high points on the way we could see that the Pyrenees are now swathed in beautiful white snow which is not going to go away until the middle of next year - the dusting they had a few weeks ago soon disappeared but this lot is here to stay.
It was a super day for walking back from Lavelanet along the old railway line and I was sorely tempted, but there were jobs waiting at home after our absence. It was still beautiful weather after lunch, so Gay and I had a 6 kilometre circular walk through Campgast and another couple of villages.
Today after Esperaza market I started walking in earnest again, walking the 16 kms home from Quillan, using the second track we very recently found from Quillan to the Col du Portel, there rejoining the walk I have been doing regularly for some months. Not as sunny as yesterday and accompanied by a very strong, cold wind. It was hard work. The regular 7.5 kms morning walk on the flat in Indiana was worth doing, but my legs have obviously missed the climbing.
Tomorrow I have a 30 kms walk planned from Mirepoix, weather permitting. There is a bit of a problem with clothing for walks at this time of the year, even if it is dry. Especially if doing something social before the walk, such as going to the market, shops, or visiting someone. Normal clothes have to worn for that. Then there is the matter, especially when extensive, warm climbing is to be done, of needing less clothes for one part of the walk than for the rest. That problem was reversed this morning because the wind was only in the second half of the walk. At one stage I almost put my gloves on, which is unheard of - I am normally taking them off after a couple of miles, not putting them on after 13 kms.