Vive la difference

Our last night in Spain saw a hasty retreat, when at 3am an idyllic river bed turned into hurricane alley, sandblasting us back into the car, bleary eyed and wondering how desert folk managed before wet-wipes.

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Adios Espana – we’re heading back up North

Spain has been delightful and an opportunity for my son Max to speak Spanish, but it’s France that speaks to me.

The first 10km after emerging from the 3km d’Ariagnouet-Bielsa border tunnel were cold and foggy. So as soon as the sun came out we stopped for a coffee at a little roadside cafe come post office.

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Trees covering the slopes of the French Pyrenees, unlike those in the rain shadow over the border

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Gallic style and hospitality

Just out of shot is a double bass upon which the waiter took an impromptu break from laying the tables to play along to Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight on the radio as Picasso looked on from the piano –
it was vibrant, authentic, rooted in the fifties, yet very much alive and life sustaining.

We ended up staying for lunch.
The two course fixed pris menu was a perfectly dressed salad, confit of duck, fab’ custard flan with coulis, a quart of wine and sweet digestif – not bad for a tenner.

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