The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Day 19 - Arles-sur-Tech to Amelie-les-Bains

Saturday 30 July
3.5, maybe 4 miles
Overcast whilst walking

Whilst sitting in the outdoor dining area of our hotel last night, under a hugely impressive climbing-vine-of-some-description living canopy, it started to thunder and to rain with quite a vengeance. The canopy was so impressive that even in the downpour we only got a few drips through. As far as we could see, all of the other diners' tables remained dry.

The rain didn't do much to clear the air, so it was hot for sleeping. On the plus side, all of the laundered clothes dried in double-quick time.

As indicated by my last post, this morning didn't start well. My head was very poorly and I was rather attached to the lavatory (poor Mick got thrown out of the bathroom mid-shower, banished dripping to the bedroom), but in the world of silver linings, at least we'd had an unscheduled en-suite hotel last night. There are much worse places to get the raging squits*!

Breakfast at our hotel (Les Glycines) this morning was by far the most comprehensive spread we've seen this trip or last. It was just a shame that I didn't feel inclined to partake in more than a couple of bits of bread and jam and a croissant. Mick made more of it with hard boiled eggs, ham and cheese. Yoghurt and various fruits were on offer too, along with freshly squeezed orange juice. I may not have eaten much but I think I nearly finished the flask of hot water singlehandedly, with multiple cups of tea from the wide selection available.

It was tempting to stay put another night, so I could (hopefully) take better advantage of the breakfast tomorrow, but at the same time I felt like risking the short walk down the valley to Amelie-les-Bains-Palalda. The wonders of t'internet soon had us a reservation at a hotel a little way beyond the town.

Trying to strike a balance between leaving Arles as late as possible (so as to allow the tummy as much time as possible to right itself before we went) and leaving before it got too hot, we found ourselves on Amelie by 11am so paused in the town for coffee/fizzy water (Mick/me), and to buy a road map. The displays in the town told us it was 27 degrees, but with cloud cover and a good breeze it felt a pleasant temperature, unlike yesterday (which was 34 degrees, sunny and still).

It was as we sat at the pavement cafe that I did a bit of Googling and came up with information on a cycle path which runs from Arles to within 18km of the coast. A visit to wikiloc got me a gpx file and a visit to the Tourist Office got me an information leaflet and a (just in case) bus timetable. Armed with a more firm plan, onwards to our hotel we went, arriving just after noon to be told that we couldn’t access our room until 4 (harrumph - no mention of that policy when I booked).

"Not a problem" we said (whilst thinking that 4pm is a late check-in time for a proper hotel) "we'll just sit in your lounge area for a few hours." We did consider going back out to walk further east, catching a bus back later, and we'd just come up with a sensibly-sized section to tackle so as to tie up with the bus times, when I realised that it's Sunday tomorrow, meaning that the options for the return bus in the morning would be 5.30am or 9.45am (aka too early or too late). With the prospect of more walking scuppered, we sat around some more until at 1pm they must have decided that we were making the place untidy, as suddenly our room was available.

It's a contrast to yesterday’s dated accommodation (although it's apparent that Les Glycines is making an effort and going through a programme of modernisation; the public areas are all smart), the room here is very fresh, modern and well-presented (with plenty of plug sockets - and a fan, even if not aircon) with premium toiletries. Yep, we'll be happy here tonight before (hopefully) moving significantly eastwards tomorrow.

(*not the 'raging squids' as my phone's autocorrect wanted that to be - that'd be a whole different predicament!)

No photos today, but have a handful taken last Sunday, but not posted at the time due to lack of a good phone signal:


  1. Raging squids! That had me giggling far more than your true predicament. Hope your plan works!

  2. Those squids are quite panful. I had them for a few days on GR11!
    Good luck with "The Plan".