Roads near the towns - not too busy. Empty country lanes and farm tracks for most of the walk.
Back to early starts. We set off at first light along the cliff edge with just enough daylight to see our way. Then we walked parallel with the railway line along a small path. Later we crossed under the tracks and headed up to the main road. This is almost empty at this hour. We got to Cerbère station early and caught an earlier train than planned. When we arrived at Banyuls, we had to wait half an hour to meet Jane (one of Anne's friends).
We walked on country lanes and farm tracks from Banyuls to port Vendres. In the urban areas at each end of the walk, there was heavy local traffic but away from the towns, there were few vehicles or people. In Valencia, Spain we walked for days through orange and mandarin groves. Here it is similar but the crop is grapes for wine. The walking was nice but humid. Thunderstorms had been forecast but we stayed dry.
Jane brought the picnic. This was a nice change from our usual fare and really useful because we have not found convenient shops near our accommodation. There was a small shop in the holiday complex but this was shut when we most needed it.
We took the train back to Cerbère and walked back to the Village des Aloes by a new route. This was more picturesque than the main road but slow because of the steep terrain.
Did I put in about the leckicks changing from the Spanish to the French grid half way between Port Bou and Cérbère.
Today we got up at 5.00 and set off for the station at 5.45. We got there in 50 minutes and there was a nice woo through beyond the shortcut along the railway line. We were in time to get our tickets from the machine paying with a credit card. The cossack opened as we were completing the transaction so we can wait for that next time. It's silly to use a credit card for a bill of 3 euros 60.
We caught the train before the one we had intended catching because we had made such good time and arrived in Banyuls with half an hour or 40 minutes to spare. We sat on the wall again and watched out for Jane. Would she have hired a Mercedes like Paul? No. She arrived just after the train we should have come on had drawn out. She had a Fiat Panda and parked under the tree next to us. Then she unpacked her picnic. Lots of individual made-up sandwiches. It was fun having a different person with us and Jane is always very good company.
We stopped at 3.3 and 6.6km for an Easter egg (left over from Easter and a vanilla fudge sweet which had brought because I didn't think we'd get eggs. Half way through the morning I stared sneezing again.
The walk was short today – only 14 km. We had lunch in a shady place but no view or chairs. Then 100 metres further on there was a lovely spot with a view of the sea and vineyards and the railway and chairs. Well that's how it goes.
Soon we came into Port Vendres. There was a shop but we decided we didn't want to carry 12 toilet rolls all the way home so we would get them in Cérbère or in our own little shop. We had forgotten at this point that it was still Monday when the shop was shut and not Tuesday when it would be open. Jane was not impressed that I got dust on my trousers. I explained that they were self cleaning and would soon be fine. She wasn't convinced.
We all caught a train to Cérbère and Jane would get out in Banyuls – just one stop. The ticket machine was broken on the platform and the station cossack was shut so we all travelled not en règle. By the time we got to Cérbère the shops had shut and it was then that we remembered that it was still Monday. We shall make do with what we've got and Neil has some tissues he can put in the toilet now our emergency paper has all but gone.
We found a better way back from the station at Cerbere to the holiday complex. It used even less of the main coast road but it was circuitous, narrow and steep so not quicker. It was a nice route and a good one to put on wikiloc.com.
Today we saw a new blue flower like a hyacinth but small and not a bulb, white thrift, delicate pink lupin, cornflowers.