Retions – Hagetmau 65kms (quite a bit of height gained. Enough to have me pushing)
Well what a day and it all started so well. Alan had managed to post the blog which I hope was okay because my intellect and definitely my ability to punctuate decreases with wine and time and there was no time this morning to go through it and check.
Anyway, back to today. Whaa…. It would appear that the maps with which we have been provided are so out of date that a major motorway has come into existence and has not been acknowledged as a ‘maybe’! However, the day commenced with a good breakfast and cheery au revoir from our hosts and an uneventful ride through Roquefort and out the other side. At this point things got a bit iffy. Our map indicated a route following the D932. No worries, we found it but we are still not sure that we should have been riding along it. It was unquestionably a clearway and a dual carriageway and we were riding on the hard shoulder (memories of Sicily!). No jobs worth appeared so on we went as we could find no suitable alternative. The experience is not to be recommended. The speed limit was 110 kms / hr which is interpreted by the motorist as at least 20 kms/hr faster. So pootling along at about 15 – 20 kms/hr being overtaken by racing cars was not a lot of fun.
If we thought that was bad (you may have noted dear reader that there are a lot of moans in this blog) when we entered Mont de Marsan our map failed completely and we were obliged to walk along one way streets, get thoroughly lost, walk a few more one way streets and finally re- emerge on the far side of town onto yet more dual carriageway! It was quick (the dual carriageway) but nerve racking and temperatures were increasing with the hour so we reached Sever in something of a lather. Sever town was attainable only after climbing a hill which could not be ridden with Herman and Sherman and pushing was only just accomplishable. Did get more stamps in the passports though. You see, every cloud and all that…………..
Hagetmau was our target for the day and only required one more push (very worried about the Pyrenees!) and we finally arrived hot and sweaty and in need of good shower. After several fruitless attempts to rouse any hoteliers we finally made a bad phone connections with one of them who, although half-shut – the story of our lives – was able to provide a room but no food. We found the food once we had eradicated the bodily odours. All is now tranquil and I am off to my bed. So until tomorrow, when we have been encouragingly told we will reach the foothills of the mountains, I bid you adieu.
(Sudacrem is being used copiously and Mary is hitting the Nightnurse to allay the effects of a heavy cold. The Pyrenees could be a difficult couple of days! – Ed.)