Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 28 March 2020

Saturday 28 March 2020 - parkrun substitute number 2

Since last week, the streets have gone very quiet. Shortly after posting the parkrun entry for 21 March, our computer failed. Luckily, I was able to take it to our local shop (who built it) on Monday morning, after which strict 'Social Distancing' rules came into force. Thankfully, my daughter Kate was able to pick the repaired computer on Tuesday after attending her grandma's funeral. Thank you Kate.
Thanks also go to Grapevine Computers in Altrincham for sorting out the problem and replacing the 2TB hard disc that had failed. Luckily, all the data could be transferred to the new disc, and our Dropbox back up files weren't needed.
Last week I reported seeing 47 other runners during my parkrun substitute. Today I saw just one runner and a few dog walkers, albeit I set off well before 9 o'clock. Moreover, I've decided to avoid the busy canal towpath where two metres distancing from passing cyclists is impossible, in favour of Walton Road's quiet pavements.
Derbyshire Road South, pictured above, is normally fairly quiet, but Marsland Road, pictured below, is a busy main road - virtually empty yesterday as I jogged along in the lovely spring sunshine.
I tuned in to the Vassos Alexander's YouTube parkrun video and quiz again this morning. 9/15 score this week was a big improvement! Perhaps because Sue was absent due to social distancing within our household (weird!?) and also because she was at Sainsburys, having taken over  as household shopper because she gets priority as an NHS employee working near 'the front line'. (Sadly she is not allowed to work from home.) Thanks Sue, you did well this morning. (We have flour and pasta!)

My 5 km times have slowed drastically this week to just inside 30 minutes. Today's 28.00 was my best time since last Saturday. The exercise is valuable though.

Take care and stay (at home) safe.

Friday 27 March 2020

Pyrenees HRP - 2004 - Day 56 - Epilogue 2

Sue and Martin's Big Adventure
Day 56 - Sunday 19 September 2004 - Epilogue 2

Banyuls-sur-Mer to Ille-sur-Têt
Diary Entry (by Sue)

Another beautiful morning but more breezy - luckily the tent remained standing! Paid our dues and left the campsite at about 8.45 am. Headed north, in leisurely fashion. Lots of cyclists out early.  

First stop, west of Elne, was Thuir (pictured above and below). This delightful village was open to an extent, and we indulged in pain au chocolat, coffees, and a wander round. We admired the work of an 'Artisan Patissier' in one window.

Then, a few km west, we climbed a dirt road to Corbere de Dalt, with a castle and church perched in beautiful trees above Corbere. The church had a huge gold-leaf covered frieze at the front and sold cherry jam at the back! Its back step made an ideal location to sit and diary write, with the world at our feet once more.
Had lunch there too, moving into the shade with a view of the afternoon's destination, Ille-sur-Têt. A brew went down well with bread, pâté de campagne and tomatoes, and an excellent nectarine. Shortly after, a rather eccentric lady readily booked us into the nicer than Banyuls 'Camping Municipal' in Ille-sur-Têt. Here, the pegs go in, and it is quiet.
On foot, we went through the sleepy town, with narrow streets, and to 'Site des Orgues', the other side of the river. This is a tiny version of Bryce Canyon, with pinnacles of sand topped with a bouldery layer. Not spectacular, but pleasant.
Returned to town and visited l'Eglise St Etienne, a huge and extremely silent church, with twelve side chapels.
Its tower and external facia can be best seen from a distance due to the proximity to other buildings. Had a beer under plane trees in a quiet square before returning to the tent at about 6 pm.
It made a nice change to cook and have dinner outside - asparagus soup and three cheese spaghetti with tuna. We even had the luxury of using the table and chairs outside an unused chalet opposite our pitch.
Still warm, despite cloud, after 7 pm. After dinner, I read a bit more of 'Fresh Air Fiend' (Paul Theroux) in the comfy car seat, drinking mint tea until the light went.
Martin relaxed in the tent, watching the bats.
Went to sleep when it got dark.
Here's the Epilogue area, covering the final four days of the trip

Thursday 26 March 2020

Pyrenees HRP - 2004 - Day 55 - Epilogue 1

Sue and Martin's Big Adventure
Day 55 - Saturday 18 September 2004 - Epilogue 1

Banyuls-sur-Mer and Collioure

Diary Entry (by Martin) 

A lie in at Banyuls after a somewhat disturbed night, for me anyway. People talking until about 6 am (eventually someone shouted at them), dogs barking, unidentifyable bleeps, train noises, motor bikes, cars, Sue's snores, then finally chirping birds. The latter not a problem, but the following night (Saturday) was similar except the talking stopped around 1 am.
Not to worry, we did sleep on the stony ground, tent supported by rocks at the back and by our extra guys at the front being tied to trees. (Need two more similar guys for the back.)
Wandered around sunny Banyuls in the morning. Found girolles for sale at €9.90/kilo. Tempting, Watched kayakers, divers and others.
Cappuccinos on the sea front in the sun.

Then we bought lunch ingredients and on the way back to our dusty campsite we diverted to the railway station to investigate trains to Perpignan. There was one in ten minutes, at 12.30, so we got it.
Found a nice small park in Perpignan to eat lunch - credit cards used as we had no cutlery whatsoever with us. The main purpose of the visit was to try to hire a car for our remaining three days before the flight home. There were about six car hire places within 200 metres of Perpignan station (a 25 minute train ride from Banyuls) - all shut for lunch from 12.00 to 14.00.
So at 14.30 we did a tour - all had no cars or were still shut, but "no cars" in Hertz had only been overheard and qualified "maybe later", so we went back there. Very luckily, they had a Renault Twingo. We accepted with glee and headed off in this (very soon getting stuck in a traffic jam caused by a massive cavalcade of motor bikes protesting about something), our first journey in a car for nearly eight weeks, to the picturesque resort of Collioure.
Parked in a lay-by  about 1 km south of the town and walked in.
Very touristy and upmarket. Lots of shops, and a street with musicians, paved with real grass!
Sue went for a swim - she enjoyed it more than yesterday, but still cold. Nice ice creams.
Back to Banyuls for a final walk along GR10. Smells of crushed grapes from the wineries. Truck and van loads of grapes being delivered today - it's very much the season for production of Corbières wine.
Excellent choice of restaurant - we went early and got the last table - La Vieille Cave Pizzeria - shared salad, chef's pizza - €28. Beer. Lots of water - we were dehydrated from the day! Back to camp around 9.30 for an adequate sleep on this less than satisfactory site.