Thursday

Borce France to Canfranc Spain, 19/08/04

Leftborce france to canfranc spain 19 08 04
Am camped at Canfranc on the French Spanish border, high up in the mountains. Got caught in the rain for the first time yesterday, crossing the Col de Somport. All day, pouring rain and low cloud so I didnt get to see much of the scenery.

Somport road on a clear day...

Took a photo of the customs post/police station at the top with the height signpost to remember the biggest hill yet,

With the strongest winds today too, I didnt think it would be that cold!!
My poncho isn't waterproof, what a time to find out, it just acted as a huge sail pushing me back down the mountain, HA. As I went over the top to wheel down the other side my legs were shivering that much my feet were jumping off the pedals, I had to stand up to control it.
Didn't find a shop yesterday, all tiny houses scattered about, no towns to speak of. Passed the french ski centre, rested amongst the cowpats for a while and ate a 2 day old sandwich I found whilst digging out the ... ahem... waterproofs.
Got over the top and found lots of spanish hotels, souvenir shops, a lot more developed than the french side, all flash but didnt stop, wanted to get back to the tree line and out of the WIND.
Walked straight past the shop on the site, didnt realise tienda meant shop, am learning spanish the hard way, it's closed now anyway as it's out of season.
Beautiful here, just at the edge of the trees, can see the sun moving down the mountain opposite, is 0830 now... Drying my clothes, waiting for the sun to come over the tops

...should be here to dry my things at about 11?
If the campsite owner is not too pissed off with me (I didnt book in, he wasnt about and it was raining), then I may stay here 2 days and get everything dry again, they have a washing machine and a dryer!! will take 2 days to dry my boots out.
A good start to Spain.
Have heard spanish spoken now, and I dont understand a word!
My spanish phrasebook was bought in France so its french/spanish, good for learning more french but hardly a quick reference guide, and the pronounciation is for french speakers, ahh well, should be interesting....
Hopefully will meet some English speakers on the trail or in the hostels or maybe get by with very basic French.
Looking at the route it should take me 1.5 to 2 weeks to reach Santiago, depending on the mountains and their weather.
Met an american couple in the hostel at Borce yesterday, he over 6' very slow, gentle giant, she 5'2", very voluble, a very likeable couple, not at all like americans I have met before, they have spent time in communes ashrams etc, good thinkers in a quiet and peaceful way, there are good ones after all, my opinions of americans are changing, they are not all Bush fans.
Another coffee and a smoke and go and face the music at the site office, COLD here, 5'C now.

OK sorted with the boss, thank god he likes bicycles ... "bicicleta, muy bien"
more spanish learned, this is going to take years...
Suns moving fast, incredible view here, clear air and small fast clouds. Temperature up 4C in half an hour, looking good.
No batteries for the phone charger, I boiled the last one yesterday to wring the last volt from it, cant talk to Z or home, need to find a supermarket. Should be Jaca, is a fair sized town on the map.

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Good luck with your own journey.
Thanks for visiting,
Rob.