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, 23 July 2016

Rest Day - Ax-les-Thermes and Merens-les-Vals

Saturday 23 July
GR10 distance: 0.5 miles

We're on the train back to Merens and I'm wondering if I can get something typed and posted before I lose the 3G signal. Or maybe the brief 3G signal I had at Merens station yesterday will exist in a more permanent form up at the gite. Or maybe the gite will have wifi. Or maybe this won't get posted for another couple of days.

As we head back to Merens we're thinking that we should have stayed two nights in Ax. It looked a good place for a full day off, particularly as it was market day today, but the gite at Merens has come so highly recommended we've opted to head back there today (I do hope we have a reservation. Phone conversations conducted entirely in French have so much room for error!).

Whilst most of our time in Ax was spent in our room (by virtue of arriving late and leaving just after noon), we did get some useful stuff done this morning. A bit of food resupply was done (not much because we ate out so much on the last leg, and did it a day faster than intended, so we still had quite a bit of food). The pole tip which Mick broke on Day 2 was not just replaced but the chap in the shop fitted it and then tried to wave off any payment for the tip, a new mud basket and the fitting. Mick has also come away with a new set of gel insoles which he'll cut up later (he has 1/2 length orthotics, so just needs the front bit of some ordinary insoles. The one's he's currently using are rather worn). I didn't come away with a new pair of shoes; the only ones I liked the look of were two narrow, even when sizing up significantly. The man in that shop was horrified that I was walking across the Pyrenees in slippers (although, apparently they would have been fine if I'd been doing the route in 16 days as part of the Trans-Pyrenees event (insert puzzled emoticon)).

(And that is as far as I got on the train. It's really not far from Ax to Merens. The gite does, however, have wifi.)

It is now mid-afternoon. We arrived at the gite just after half past one, whereupon we did as we have done more than once over the last week: despite having food in our bags for lunch today, we succumbed to the menu at the gite. We didn't need more than a main course, but then someone behind us got served one of these...

...and who can resist flan? Particularly when it's an enormous serving and comes with two mini chocolate fondants?

There will now be much sitting around this afternoon, in this fabulous building in a gorgeous setting. Tomorrow walking will resume.


  1. Yours has a bit missing, I'd 've sent it back...

    1. Damn! Didn't notice that! (Or maybe I was so greedy that I dug straight in, only belatedly remembering to snap a photo.)

  2. ...would've been worth a try.
    We had a family friend who would hide his pudding, claim not to have received one and request a different one...obviously wouldn't need to in France.

  3. Looks like the glutton nicked a bit. Glad you like the gite.