André, Tobi and I enjoyed a lovely relaxed evening at Bar Kennedy before adjourning to our relatively cool and quiet room.
At breakfast we encountered the first English GR11 walkers I've seen, Ian and Jules. I'd heard about them from German Martin. Their daughter joins them here for a couple of days, so having started on June 20 they will now be a day ahead of me and Tobi. Tobi and I plan to walk together at least as far as Setcases (three days away), when he intends to leave to attend to important business.
So there's an outside chance that I may see Ian and Jules again if I regain some of my earlier energy.
The three of us enjoyed a hearty buffet breakfast before trooping off to enjoy more coffee in the sunshine outside the Hotel Tèrminus. We were soon joined by the Dutch trio, Petra, Derk Jan and their daughter Jolijn. They confirmed that whilst the hotel was good, the night had been noisy. Petra has the distinctive red blotches of a heat rash, so pharmaceutical advice from Sue - involving the use of hydrocortisone cream - was obtained and much appreciated. They are wisely getting the train to our next port of call, Planoles, today. They have a cabin there for two nights, so Tobi and I hope to see them tomorrow.
André was tearfully waved off. We will miss stories from his career as a laboratory technician responsible for the welfare of moths in Australia (hence his excellent English), African frogs (for many years) and latterly Zebra fish, after the researchers at Geneva University made him ship off all the frogs to the USA in favour of subject matter with a much shorter life cycle.
André also had military stories to tell of times before he managed to extricate himself from that particular Swiss burden, for example Alpine traverses carrying full military gear, or not - as some conscripts just had the barrels of their rifles sticking out of their kit, leaving the rest of the weapon at home.
Tobi and I decided to stick with our existing room at Hotel Maria Victoria, thus avoiding the hassle of moving. The hotel is shambolic and a mess, but the lift works, if not the water heater, and the staff are friendly. It seemed silly to move.
I still have loads of uneaten food that I've carted all the way from Encamp, so my principal requirements of loo roll and camping gas were easily obtained. The rest of the morning was spent on a park bench from which the top image was taken. Peaceful, tranquil and relaxing. Just what the doctor ordered.
Paella for lunch was closer to the diet prescribed by my pharmacist, and some natural yoghurt also went down and stayed in.
I was going to spend the afternoon reading my (reaching a climax - the excellent 'Invisible Guardian') book in the park, but dark clouds rolled in and I just managed to get back to the hotel as large raindrops started to splatter the narrow streets at about 3.30 pm.
Later, it was back to Bar Kennedy armed with a brolly from the hotel, for another nice meal.
Overall, a day that refreshes us - especially me - for the final stages of this quite lengthy journey.
Today's pictures were taken around Puigcerdà, a very jolly town with period buildings, narrow streets and excellent facilities.
Next Day - Day 38
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