Bagneres de Bigorre to Capvern, 17 miles 30/06/04

Wednesday ???
Bagneres to Capvern on D938.
Found the internet this morning, but was a waste of money.
Really old Mac, very slow, very dirty.
Have to buy a card here to use the 'La Poste' machines, E7.00 to buy it, that gives you 1 hour, and then top up cards to recharge it at E4.00 per hour, similar to a mobile phone top up. Easy enough to work out what is what and where, even in French, but not a good experience. The card needs an account registering before you can use it, it does not recognise english addresses, so, if anyone is reading this and planning the same...just copy the example address that pops up on the screen, that will let you in.
Posted the parcels of holy water to Zarah and home, (see above) cost E30.00. Not bad to say that's 2 letters and 2 parcels at about 1/2 kilo each, maybe more, sent by express post.
Sat in the doorway of a crowded post office, with beggars on the steps outside, reading my email with people in the queue looking over my shoulder, I'm not surprised the internet is not popular here!(keyboard layout all different.)
Still, I have a card now, maybe the next place will be better.
Left Bagneres at about 12.00, couldn't find the way out of town, been a strange day, can't seem to motivate myself. Had my first flat tyre yesterday, leaving Lourdes, luckily was on the flat road about 3 km out of town. Pulled over against a garden fence to fix it, someone kept rattling the windows/shutters but nobody broke cover. Why is it the locals are never friendly in a tourist town? The passing cyclists didn't stop or even slow down, maybe they see too many idiots here.
17 miles in 2hours 06 mins today. Large hill past the Chapelle de Roume (or Chapelle de Notre Dame de la Roume) again, this time no mist, no clouds, could see the mountains properly.

Panorama on the way into Lourdes

Couldn't see the larger ones last time, didn't even know they were there! Snow on the summits and 30'c+ for me. Down to the Abbey in the bottom of the valley (L'Escaladieu) and up the hill past the castle again. The cows wear bells here, little Switzerland. Top of the hill past the castle (Chateau de Gaston Phoebus) is Capvern. Camp here tonight and try to get my head together again. Tent under some grapevines on a long overhead trellis, hundreds of tiny grapes all over. First time I've seen these up close, nice.



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