The Pyrenean Traverse, Day 26

The Pyrenean Traverse, Day 26: Party at the banquet hall

Before we set off we stuff our backpacks with all the things we find in the local grocery shop. I overhear a chubby middle-aged lady complaining to her friend about the weather. From the local dialect I think I can derive the word “orages”, which means “thunderstorms”. So I ask her if it will storm today. She answers affirmatively and opens the weather forecast section of the newspaper. Fortunately that does not look too bad. We will just have to grind our teeth a few more days, but then summer should finally arrive.

The crossing to Goulier goes even better than expected. When we arrive at the village, the mayor greets us warmly. He is just about to lead a number of people around his village and is apparently very proud of the many hikers that pass through his town.

During lunch break we see a helicopter rise from the valley. A big white bag is hanging underneath it. The chopper is on its way to provide a mountain hut with food supplies. With our eyes we follow the helicopter until it becomes a small dot at the horizon. Eventually it disappears in the distance behind a rock.

A bit further we get a nice view of the Bassiès mountain range. We catch a glimpse of the beautiful memories we created up there. From this perspective it is almost unbelievable that we could set up our tent on those rugged and snowy rocks.

Today we decide to spend the night in the much lower village of Siguer. At the town hall we ask where we can sleep. We are assigned a room with two bunk beds at the banquet hall of the village. There is even a shower and a toilet. What a luxury!

And that is not all … Apparently there is even a small shop in this village. It has only been open for a year and is therefore not yet mentioned in the topoguide. Although we had already done some major shopping in Auzat, we are going the full monty again in this food palace. The owner of the store gives us a chocolate roll and a croissant for free. We are completely stacking his counter with the tastiest of things. I ask for a bottle of wine and he fills my drinking bottle with red wine. Fantastic, we did not count on having a wine tonight.

The man calculates the bill of our groceries and looks shocked at every price he enters in the cash register. Strangely enough, he thinks his own prices are too high. That’s why he also gives us the bottle of wine as a present. “A wedding gift,” he says, while he points at the “just married” signs on our backpacks.

Tomorrow morning we can buy fresh bread at the shop. And if we need something else we should just tell him, he adds. Because he is going to do some shopping in the city. We do not need anything else but thank him extensively for his kind offer. Tomorrow he wants to make breakfast for us, if we like. You bet we do! Appointment tomorrow morning, at 8.30 am.

In our banquet hall we cook a festive but modest menu: instant soup, quenelles of canned veal with peas and for dessert the chocolate roll and the croissant that we were gifted earlier today.

The water in the showers is cold, although we were promised that it would be hot. But we do not complain. Hot showers or cold showers. Hard beds or soft beds. It does not matter. On a trip like this you realize all the more you really do not need much to be happy.

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