Thursday 9 June
Broke camp in record time and set off along the ridge. It was a bright, crisp morning and the views from the ridge to the mountain were picture book. I saw a red squirrel in the woods, noticeably smaller than the English (American) ones back home. During the descent I noticed my third tick bite and resolved to take doxycycline just in case.
Today was the last chance for the GR78 and it was redeeming itself noticeably so far. The path soon came to an Edwardian park in Bagnères complete with joggers, elderly ladies promenading and a women’s group learning how to use walking poles. A cleaner lent on her mop watching them bemused.
I grabbed a second breakfast in Bagnères and strode on along through some woods where I surprised a deer in the long grass. The woods opened out at an ideal picnic spot by a restaurant which was the perfect spot for some lunch.
I descended through some woods crossing two small streams on single log bridges. I passed more farms and again saw kites following the tractors bailing hay. It was starting to get late but I pressed on aware that the next town had two campsites. The foot pain was again starting to become extreme.
At this point I timidly stuck my thumb out and started to hitch. I grew in confidence and soon was staring down the drivers with thumb firmly in the air. A mother and her teenage daughter took me to the top of the hill and shortly after that a young french man and his sister took me to Cape Vern. I resolved to pick up hitch hikers from now on. I hobbled into the campsite – not without noticing signs to the train station.