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

Help! Plea for Re-routing Assistance

UPDATE: I think I have the outline of a plan, which looks mainly sensible when viewed on the screen of my phone. We'll be moving just down the road to Amelie les Bains this afternoon, where I'll hopefully be able to buy a suitable map.

I think I jinxed us by booking flights home and saying that all we need to do now was to finish on schedule. It didn't seem that outlandish a thing to do with only around 45 miles remaining and 3 days in which to do it.

Then I woke up at 4.30 this morning with a massive headache and a tummy ache. It is now apparent that I won't be doing any significant walking today. As I have no interest in the challenge of doing 45 miles with lots of ascent in 2 days that means we won't be completing our Pyrenean route this year.

However, it does seem achievable (provided I'm back to full fitness tomorrow) to still achieve the completion of 'coast-to-coast across France'*. So, the question for anyone who would care to answer (and who has access to mapping on a screen bigger than 5") is what is the best looking direct route to the coast from Arles-sur-Tech? I acknowledge it'll likely be road walking all/almost all the way.

(*with a little bit of a detour to Spain every now and then)


  1. Alas, there's no route to the coast except by trudging along main roads. Think walking from Stonehaven to Montrose. In yr position I'd go for a little adventure, viz: Bus from Arles-sur-Tech or Amelie-les-Bains to Perpignan ( line 340, every hour or so - and only costs one euro!!). From Perpigman train back west to Villefranche and then take the very wonderful Traine Jaune west to the end of the line at Latour-de-Carol. This train is a combination of open cars and Agatha Christie carriages, with mighty view of the Nuria ridge, Eyne etc. DEpart Villefranche 09:58 or 17:35. Journey time 3 hours. And spectacular! There's an adequate campsite about 3km NW of Latour (zip in the village, well, a cafe and that's about it). From Latour there are six trains a day to Toulouse. (2.5hrs). You can buy a through ticket Villefrance > Toulouse. If this looks good, email with yr preferred day/dates at or put up a message and I'll send you full schedules.

  2. That's a bit of a b****r. HMPs suggestion sounds good. Note that the yellow train has no toilets.
    Unfortunately my French maps are 375 miles away, but Humphrey knows the area at least as well as I do anyway...
    Hope you feel better soon. There are worse places than Amelie to hole up in - I've spent two nights there every time I've gone that way.