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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 33. Saint Hippolyte du Fort- Nissan lez Enserune

Posted by admin On Agosto - 13 - 2010

118 kilometers. 6 hours and 45 minutes.

JL: Why the heck does the waiter ask me to choose only one hunk of bread among the many types he is carrying on the tray when in fact I want one of each? The other day, I finally got enough nerve up to put him the question during dinner time. Do you know what the stuck-up waiter replied? No, you can’t have more than one at a time. If I wanted another chunk of bread, he would come over and over again but he would serve me only one at a time.  Iván and I are always desperately hungry and these guys restrict food to limited allotments. Why are they bent on fully describing each dish they serve us even though we tell them we don’t speak French? Sometimes they need more time to describe what is on the menu than the time we need to wolf everything down. After the entreé, why do we have to choose between cheese board and dessert when in fact we want to have both cheese board AND dessert? Why don’t they wind down and let us have supper undisturbed?  And, why do they take such an uncompromising stance when it comes to mealtimes? They don’t serve lunch after 2 o’clock p.m. even if you are starving! Apparently, it was the Germans who had a strictness issue. However, we had lunch and supper more or less at the time we wanted to in Germany.

Anyway, we started the day off late, around 9:00 a.m. The alarm clock went off at 7:00 a.m. but there was no way of getting out of the bed because we ended up, the day before, feeling really tired. We then regretted having setting off late because of the heat. I can illustrate this by telling you that we drank four liters of water, two cans of isotonic beverage and we ate eleven fruit a head; plus a quarter of watermelon we got from a road fruit stand. Cycling along the road was like being on a see-saw ride; that’s why it took us a while.   

We ate the first fruit in a little town called Saint Martin de Londres. It was 11:00 a.m. and the locals were gathered in the main square around a fountain. Why were they there? It was simply the place itself. It wasn’t a square which was devised by a renowned designer who sought to justify his/her budget on the grounds of concrete and metal. It was merely a place with three mighty matchless trees and stone benches.

We want to wake up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow so that we can start the day off early. We are in the Pyrenees and we have to cross them somehow. We have decided to do so by taking the D115 road which links up to the C38 road that leads to Camprodon in the province of Girona. We have to cross a 1620-meter mountain pass. We are going to climb it in two days: tomorrow are going to go up until we reach an elevation of 500/600 meters, we are going to climb the rest on Friday and we are going to make the long descent and cross the French-Spanish border as well. Camprodon brings some memories back. I suffered a scaphoid fracture of the right wrist caused by a fall while taking the Trans Pyrenees road on mountain bike. I wasn’t back since then. Things will be much better this time. That’s a sure bet.

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