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 Walk Across Europe

2009-05-30 - Trip 16

France, Languedoc Roussillon_Pyrennees Orientales

Cerbere to Beccles

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2567.4 km from start.
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 Track Log: .
 Travel: Buses, Flight, Bus, Car.

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No delays but long waits for connections. Anne was fit but becomming unwell with loss of apetite. Cancer later diagnosed in the pancreas.

We caught the 09:30 bus from Cerbère to Perpignan. This 90 minute ride cost the flat rate of 1 euro. The bus was soon full. The first half of the ride was mountainous with nice views. The second half across the Perpignan plain crossed agricultural land, orchards and a few rivers. At Perpignan we had a long wait for the airport navette. The bus station was horrible. There was no shade, too few seats, no facilities and it was busy. We found an oasis in a busy road junction with shade and a view of the river Têt. We had a picnic lunch there. This must have seemed unusual to the locals some of whom waved and hooted their horns.

At 14:05, the navette arrived. It was a full size bus with only a handful of passengers. The 9 euro fare came as a shock. Perpignan airport has nice shady trees outside where you can wait in the fresh air. Inside it was horrible. Although the weather had become cool, it was hot and humid indoors. The security gate remained closed after passengers had checked in, so lots of people were wandering aimlessly around. In the departure lounge, the windows were frosted so there was no outside view. We found the only window with clear glass and there was an open window too so an occasional waft of nice air came in. The only saving grace was a free cold water dispenser. Presumably this was installed after passengers had collapsed with heat exhaustion! It's amazing the variety of methods airports have developed to torture their passengers. Just when you think you have experienced them all, you find a new one. We got a small revenge though. Neil's camembert cheese was becoming distinctly ripe in the heat and cheesy wafts kept escaping his rucksack.

The Ryanair flight was on time and no worse than usual. The BOGOF drinks advert was turned down to a bearable volume and one gets used to the routine of drinks, snacks, gifts, scratch cards and so on. Walking across Europe, we like flights to airports in the middle of nowhere and Ryanair does this well.

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