The Pyrenees are beautifull and food poisoning when traveling in a van sucks
March 21, 2016
Our week in Bordeaux was quiet and I loved seeing my friends and their new born little boy. It was nice to be back where our whole journey started 9 months ago. Bordeaux was the first stop we did after leaving the Netherlands last June. Back then it was warm, summer had started kicking in and we enjoyed the nice company and great food and wines. Now 9 months later we were back. It felt somehow as if it was just two weeks ago that we left. But well: a little baby boy was added to the picture. My friend being a mother now. That was a big change, but somehow it also felt like it had never been different. I guess she is really a natural mother :).
After leaving Bordeaux we visited the great Dune du Pilat, only 1 hour drive from Bordeaux. It was busy up on the dune with many people. I did not expect that because it isn't high season at all. But well it was Saturday and the sun was shining. We headed south and followed the road through the dunes. After about 20 kilometres we found and 'air' in the woods nearby the beach. We could spend the night here in our little van.
The following day we continued south because Monday we had a little chalet booked in the Pyrenees to spend some nights. After many many D-roads (we didn't want to get the toll roads) we entered the Pyrenees. End of the day was near so we had to start searching for a place to spend the night. We ended up in a valley next to a river which had some kind of parking / camping. The camping was closed but we could stay the night. There was even a toilet with water! And zero people, perfect you would say. But too bad: in the night we both got sick. I guess we ate something that we shouldn't had. I threw up all night (which is really horrible if you need to get out of the van every time into the cold) and hardly got any sleep. The following day I was still sick and we had to continue towards the chalet. Feeling sick while you have to sit in a van driving over mountain roads, isn't the best thing. We found the little village (read: 10 houses and a church) and we had agreed to call 'the uncle' of the owner when we would arrive, who would meet us at the church. These kind of villages don't have street names let alone street numbers. But of course the phone number wasn't working... We walked around the little village, searching for the wooden house and asking around. I speak some words of French but well, we didn't manage to find anyone that knew this house or the owners. Or maybe it was just the fact that they didn't had a clue of what I was saying. In the end we found a spot that we had reception for mobile internet and searched for other phone numbers in the advertisement. After 45 minutes of waiting and walking around, it worked out and the guy came to pick us up and show us the house. The wooden chalet was the highest one of the small village and had an awesome view over the valley. I just wanted to have a hot shower and a bed but we didn't had any food. The guy told us there was a supermarket only 10 km driving which was open all day. Again a dozen of corners further, we found the supermarket but of course: closed during lunchtime.. We had to wait 1,5 hour...
In the afternoon we finally returned, unpacked and I got my hot shower, clean clothes and a couch with a blanket. I was so happy to be in a house again. I like the van, but after that weekend I must admit: my opinion changed a bit...
Three nights we spend in the wooden chalet and it took me all those nights to get fully better. The second day we went out for a walk. We could just walk up the mountain from our back yard and found a couple of hiking trails. It was beautiful and the atmosphere reminded me a lot of Greece.
Yesterday we arrived in our 'housesitting house' in Castillon-en-Couserans. The previous house sitters welcomed us and showed us around. It is a real French house, with yellow and blue walls, full with decoration, picture frames with old photos, classical furniture, wooden floors, a great fire stove, a huge kitchen and garden and a view... On both sides of the house the view is AMAZING. The village is bigger than the previous one and more touristic. That means there is even a bar, a small supermarket, an ATM, butcher, tobacco shop and TWO bakeries. But it is the houses of the village like that give you the feeling you are in a movie... They are beautiful and really typical French, with a 'mountain touch'. I will make some pictures soon to show you what I mean.
I am glad to be in a place that we will stay at least a whole month. The house switching and traveling from the past two weeks were a bit exhausting I guess.