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Published: July 31st 2016
So, having woken up yesterday in possibly the worst of all ibis hotels, we were in no mood for a lie in so headed off to Lourdes for our own mini pilgrimage ( hoping for divine forgiveness for the great ant massacre of 2015!!!) Now, Lourdes. I'd been warned by the interweb that Lourdes was a tad on the chaotic touristy side but I was not prepared for this.....essentially it's a big version of Matlock with more churches and more touristsand, less chip shops and more tat. Lots more tat. Oh and religion everywhere. It's an utterly crazy place ( it did appear that all the visitors to the cathedral and it's surroundings thought they already had god on their side as we nearly removed a good half dozen who wandered aimlessly into the road) I avoided buying a holy water jug and bottle in the shop,sticking to a mug and magnet and, bonus, getting a discount for being pregnant!!!!! Heading off we aimed for dads house in the lovely lovely Pyrenees. In previous years we'd taken Simon the sat nav to guide our journey. After his failings last year and better internet connection on my phone, Simon is no more. However this year he had his revenge, there was clearly some kind of sat nav conference in Lourdes and we ended up following the most convoluted route to the house. Instead of just two straight roads we were taken on single track winding roads through villages where everyone stares at this unexpected foreign car. on the plus side, the sunflower fields were just lovely. Eventually, after a supermarket stop we made it. Ash jumped in the hot tub, opened a beer and all was well with the world.
Today after a very late breakfast, we aimed for Andorra. Theoretically Andorra was warm and sunny. The thick fog on the way made us unconvinced of this. we were right. it was chilly and damp and full. Oh so full. All the people were in Andorra. So we did our quick shop ( I even persuaded ash that mace, a Taser and a sword were not appropriate gifts to take home) had a picnic in the car, filled up on cheap cheap fuel and headed home. We'd decided to visit the wolf park as something different on the way back. Knowing the weather would be cooler it seemed ideal for outdoor activities. The fog lifted and the weather seemed perfect. Until we pulled into the car park when the light drizzle of earlier turned into full on torrential rain with thunder. Great. In true Brit style though we weren't going to let a bit (a very lot) of rain stop us so, as two of just four people in the park we set to find wolves. We headed for the petting zoo first ( all animals hiding, looking at us out of their sheds wondering why the hell we were outside in this horrendous wet weather) making friends with a goat and enemies of several terrified turkeys. After some wandering (paddling really) we found the pack of ominous looking arctic wolves. After trying to call them in the manner of a dog ( whistling etc) and getting just glared at, we came to the conclusion they would probably eat us a soon as sit on our lap. We hunted more and found the enclosure of Canadian and European wolves. All beautiful and all making us miss Dexter dog just a little bit. Deciding that waiting 40 minutes for feeding time could lead to hypothermia, we decided to head back. As we paddled out of the park, the skies started to clear and, as you'd expect, by the time we driven to the end of the road, the rain had stopped and the sun was out. A short drive ( including an interesting moment with an overexcited coach driver) and were back for tea, the grand Prix highlights and gorging on cheap chocolate from Andorra 😀
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