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Published: April 1st 2015
Today was a relaxing day in the Pyrenees, and I needed it. My loyal readers will know that yesterday was not the kindest experience for my feet. So I took it easy this morning, sleeping until after 8AM (!) and then doing some grading for my online class at McAfee. I'm almost finished with grading for the week - I'll finish it up tonight, and then I have over a week before the next assignment is due.
Another pressing matter for me is laundry. The last time I did laundry was at Eno's place in London - now 2 weeks ago. I'm really finding out how long I can wear clothes without them becoming unbearable. Most articles like shirts and pants don't really get too bad unless you work up a sweat, which I have done my best to avoid. I'm on vacation, after all. But socks and underwear can last 2 days for me. Some folks can maybe make them last longer, but even I don't want to smell them when I take them off after the 2nd day. I'm showering every day, of course - well, most every day, maybe 6 days a week. That helps keep things
cleaner, I guess. But I was wanting to do laundry here. They had a nice bag for laundry in my room, but I talked to the lady at the front desk, and apparently they charge 3 euros PER ITEM to wash. Just the essentials would be over 40 euros to clean. But she told me there was a laundry service in town nearby, even pointing it out on the map. I went yesterday morning during my meanderings to find it, but it just wasn't there. Maybe my idea of a laundromat is different than hers or Andorra's. I looked ahead at the next week or so of hotels that I've booked, and the next one with any kind of laundry service is in Budapest, which isn't until the 13th - almost 2 weeks away. Desperate times, I guess. I filled up the bathroom sink with hot water, added the free shampoo packs they gave me, and then soaked the underwear while washing by hand with a bar of the free soap. Then I did the same with the socks. Around 11AM, the sun peaked in through the alleyway, so I opened the window and set some of them on the
edge to get some warmth, hoping they would dry faster. It worked! It also helps that all the underwear and socks are dri-fit, so they dry more quickly. I intentionally brought only dri-fit underwear and socks, mainly because they're lightweight, but now it turns out that was an even better decision that I had imagined.
Once the sun disappeared behind the buildings, around 1PM, I decided to bring the clothes back inside and take myself up to the hills. My blistered toe still hurt, but I was determined. The climb up to the walking paths above the city was steep, but once there, they've got paths mapped out and basically paved, so it's really just like taking a stroll anywhere else. Except here, you get a gorgeous view, too. I walked around for about 2 hours with the weather being just perfect. The sun wasn't as bad as yesterday, and the temperature was much more tolerable. Plus there were benches every so often, and they all had great vistas.
I had hoped to run into some critters, but I only saw a few lizards, insects and birds. People were common enough, and there were a few dogs, chickens
(in the fenced-in areas below the path), and I even saw a cat. But nothing more exotic. I walked mostly along the easy path, but I managed to get off the path a couple of times. First was the scree area, and I only went so far before I realized this was pretty desolate. Then I found the southern end of the path, which turned into a rocky climb towards the 9th-century church I visited yesterday. I went a couple of minutes before my knee told me I'd better turn around. I guess that's what happens when you're falling apart. Several of the side paths did say to make sure you had proper footwear and enough water. I think yesterdays snafu was enough to tell me that I probably don't have proper footwear. Nevertheless, what I did see was inspiring. I'll have to come back when my lower body has healed enough and spend more time.
Tomorrow I'm taking an early bus back to Barcelona to catch the train to Nice, France. Another very long travel day. I'm going to try one of the local eateries this evening before getting to bed. Most of my clothes are dry by
now, which makes me very happy. And I'm almost finished with planning where I'll be the 1st 2 weeks of May! Exciting times...
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