Pleasant route out of Perpignan. CR1 cycle route for the rest of the way. Minimal busy roads.
The trains were back to normal after the strike. We got the 06:40. At Perpignan we found a pleasant route out of the city. After buying cherries and apricots from a small shop, we followed the river Têt out of town. This was also part of the CR1 cycle route. The river was in spate with snow melt.
At Bonpas, we found a nice patisserie and Neil had a ham and cheese croissant and Anne had a tomato quiche. Very nice. We had chocolate and cherries for afters. Earlier in the week we were on short commons after bad luck finding open shops. Now we were having a bonanza.
The CR1 cycle route starts from the Pyrenees, some distance inland, and roughly follows the coast. Today we joined the route and followed it all day. It avoided busy roads so we were pleased with it.
We rushed to catch the 15:24 from Salses to Cerbère only to find our assumption was wrong. This train roared through the station at high speed. We caught a stopping train 90 minutes later. Instead of rushing through the heat of the day, we could have had a sleep under a shady tree. You can never do too much research on a trip like this. We still got home in time to make supper and get to bed ready for the 03:40 alarm. We needed to get the earlier train on Friday (05:40). We must be mad!
We had a lie in until 4.40 as we were going to catch the 6.40 train. It is still very windy as we go along the cliff edge for our shortcut to the station and
along the narrow track between the raialway line and the sea.
We wait for the cossack to open. I don't qualify for a cheap ticket on this train as it is the rush hour. The tune for announcements in Cerbère is the same in Perpignan but at Banyuls they have a much nicer one. Today I have lovely catarrh and the beginnings of a silly cough. My back ache and belly ache is back. The one day when it was almost clear must have been a fluke. (This turned out to be pancreatic cancer).
At Cerbère, Neil went to inspect the route onto platform 9¾ and there is no one there; you can just walk straight through. Did my Asian neighbour make it? I feel less amicable towards him now because my purse disappeared in that bus from a zipped pocket. As usual, there was virtually nothing in it especially after doingg the shopping on the way but I don't like suspecting people. We don't see any computer shops in Perpignan even closed so I think I am going to fail to get one for Congo before this year's trip. Maybe next year.
The river flowing through Perpignan is a rushing torrent. We get out of the town by a nice route and then go along the river. We see hollyhocks by the river and enormous alcachofas in the fields. We pass through the village of Bonpas. Dozens of buses go past full of children wearing different coloured caps. Then we hear the megaphone. It must be a sporting event. We call in at a boulangerie and get some entire bread and Neil gets a sausage croissant and I get a tomato quiche.
The village is full of flower beds and hanging baskets. It's nearly as good as Filby and certainly over a larger area. Our next stretch goes through apricot orchards. We had bought cherries and apricots in a vegetable shop in Perpignan so it was goodto see the trees covered. We tried some windfalls and although they were just slightly under ripe they were delicious. I've never had apricots like it in the UK. They must dry out in travel.
We saw two gone-over monkey or man orchids. They were very tall ones. About 4km from Salses a man stops his car, says we look as if we are counting the paces and suggests we go along a side road so his mother can give us some water. We don't go because we want to catch the 3 something train which connects with the Cerbère bus. He asks if we are Belgian which I can accept but when he suggests American I am not over flattered because French with an American accent is dire and I would hate to be accused of having it. After a little chat he drives off and we carried on to the station. We had a short sit under a tree and the grass set Neil off sneezing.
"Je n'ai rien not il n'ya rien." Did you put that?
We do a forced march and get to the station in good time (2.50). We were looking forward to a sit down, a cold drink from the vending machine and an early arrival back home. We got the sit down but the station building was closed and our train didn't stop at Salses. We then checked if it stopped at Leucate for tomorrow. It didn't. We decided to get the 5.40 train tomorrow and try to get the 12.43 back or failing that the 13.35 to Narbonne and then change to get a fast train back.
We'll use our flourescents again for walking on the road in the dark.
In the evening I tried to sort out our check out but the office closes at 6.00 today. We'll try again tomorrow, Neil made a nice supper of chicken and pasta and sauce and cheese and wine and apricot pudding.