Wednesday 18th November
We had a choice Monday morning, stay where we were or head south, it all depended on the weather and we could see clouds when we woke so headed off to our next destination. When we still had the shop I was talking to one of the guys from a shop over the road and he said that his grandfather used to go to Pau every year. Sounded good so that was one of our circled destinations.
Pau was the place to go to for an English Gentleman 200 years ago and the town has been influenced very heavily by the English. It is the home of the first continental golf course and the first French rugby team. The gardens are laid out like English parks.
There is an aire right in the middle of Pau but it is mixed parking, meaning that cars, buses, coaches, motorhomes, and this week a circus. We did try and squeeze in but it was chock a block, ram jammed and double parked everywhere so off we went on our merry way.
We could see the Pyrenees in the distance and they were impressive from 60 miles away, we had to go through and on our may there was a lovely straight road through the middle.
I let Lucy use the camera and she did get carried away with it for a while. I’ve had to cut down the number of photos. Can you see the Griffon Vultures circling above the mountain tops in the distance? There are actually flies stuck on the windscreen!
On both sides of the border were lots of dams providing hydroelectric power.
And right near the top we found a flat bit next to another reservoir for our lunch break, make some new plans and clean the windscreen. We’d already tried two aires and turned them down. We could have stayed exactly where we were but the weather was fantastic, the roads were clear and very easy (there weren’t too many bendy bits) so we decided to press on and see what we could see.
This is the approach to Col du Pourtalet, the highest point over the mountains.
And Stella showing us that this was the highest place she had ever been in. As we got to the border we were pulled over by three Spanish Police officers, two had what looked like machine guns. Where are you going, where are you coming from, show me your passports, etc, etc. I thought it was to do with the G20 summit being held shortly in France but later we found out it was due to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
And back into Spain. I could swear that the temperature went up 5º as we made our way down.
We turned down another aire, it was in a ski resort but didn’t look inviting so aimed for Sabinanigo. The approach didn’t look too clever, Stella kept warning us about 3.5t weight limits but we persevered and parked up next to another motorhome. It was only as I was getting the levelling blocks out that i realised that this was Julie and Jason parked next to us. They are two of the main culprits that we are travelling around Europe in a motorhome.
I originally found their blog four years ago and have been reading about their exploits with Charlie, Dave and Zagan every day. Obviously we had to share some beers and tall stories. It was strange that we had known them for four years but they had only just met us. Check out their blog at www.ourtour.co.uk
Saninanigo must be home to some very serious cycling events but where we are is a bit odd. The building behind this sculpture is Pyrenean Centre / hostel with free unlocked and fast wifi.
The other side of the road is a large area with roads, street lights, road signs, painted lines and spaces for buildings but it looks like someone ran out of money. We had a quick look around the town but everything was closed (it was 4pm when we went walking) and looking at our map it looks like the main part of town is a mile or two away.
€4 including water and electric. We’re undecided at the moment, shall we stay here and I can do my accounts or shall we move on? It was freezing cold last night despite the heating being on full belt, we are still at 2,500 feet above sea level, or shall we rush down to our next destination?