Hi Everyone

I trust everything goes well with you all.

Me, I'm currently exploring the Pyrenees. I've been before, but not really enough, especially considering that I live so close by. So I intend to explore more thoroughly, and here I am, now. I'm here, in the Pyrenees, and, as I write, in Spain, and it's great. Beautiful, huge, mountains. I've got some super photos.

But to build up to the trip.

In my researches before I left home I dug out some old travel guides to the Pyrenees. I do try to plan ahead, a little. Inside one of the travel guides was an old hotel receipt from Andorra, 1965. Mr. and Mrs. Barker. There were only two items on the bill, the room, and a bottle of champagne. Oh young love! I guess we had a great time!

Jas, who was then my wife, has also totally forgotten what happened in Andorra but remembers I was almost sick after watching a bullfight earlier in Spain. So I'll not include a bullfight on my itinerary.

Anyway, I reconverted my van back into a camping car, reinstalling chests of drawers, my bed, a cooker, an electric cool box, and so on. I loaded up with cooking pans, utensils, food supplies such as potatoes, salt, cooking oil, emergency tinned food, then put in changes of clothes, kitchen paper rolls, a sleeping bag, and sheets for when it's warm and I don't need a sleeping bag, also a blanket for the in between times. I checked that I had gas in the gas bottle, and put the special additives in the portable toilet. (When you reach my age, sometimes the need is urgent. That's why I have a portable toilet. Some of the recipients of this mail already know this.)

I sorted out my medicaments, plasters, scissors, etc, various products like Sting Eze and put in washing and toothbrush stuff. I put selected tools in a small emergency toolbox and secreted my Mexican machete in case I needed to cut down any branches, or anything else.

In anticipation of the trip last week I changed the oil in the van. While doing that I noticed a slight blow in the welding on the exhaust pipe, and fixed that with liquid metal. So far it's been working.

Then I filled bottles with water, and more bottles with wine, loaded up a bottle of brandy, and some beers. I made sure I'd got toilet paper, and that my laptop was working and transferred my current files.

I put money and pens and writing paper and clear adhesive tape and passport and calculator and spare glasses in my in tray which I parked on top of my wardrobe.

I tell you all this so that you will know that I checked every possibility.

Hmmmmm.

Have you noticed there aren't any photos? (Some people don't read my mails, only look at the photos. This mail is for those of you who actually read my stuff.) Well, sorry to all, there won't be any photos until I get home. You see, when I went on my Europe trip last year I forgot the lead to connect my camera to the computer, and had to buy another. When I went to Australia in March I forgot to take the same lead, and bought another. I forgot it again on this trip, and I am NOT going to buy yet another. I am stuffed up full with camera/computer link up cables.

I'm only away for a week, it's the annual village dinner on the 5th July. Well, our part of the village that is. There are 8 houses, throw in the outlying farms etc and we might reach 15 houses, say 30 people. It's nominally optional but it seems you better have good reason if you're home and don't go. I've been away in previous years but I'll be there this year. You bet.

So photos will follow when I'm home. I could fill in with some recent local photos, except I'm writing from my travelling laptop, and I didn't bother to transfer any photos...............

I shall be back here again, travelling the Pyrenees. In just one example, the second night I stayed in the most amazing camp site I have ever found. And that's including Mexico and the USA. It was beautiful, surrounded by mountains around 10,000 ft with snow on top, and, from my parking spot, I could see 10 small rivers running off from the snow melt, tumbling down the almost sheer sides of the mountains in innumerable waterfalls. The camp site itself was amazing, literally dozens of grassy glades surrounded by trees, there was space for thousands of tents or camper vans or caravans, the glades went on and on, and then there were some more. When I was there, before the season has really started, there were only about 50 vans or tents but some were obviously there for a week or so, they had washing lines strung up! It was free too.

Best regards

David Barker
Travelling the Pyrenees

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