April 16, 2024

Day 6 – Beaudéan, laundry and a wet day

In the night I was woken up several times by rain squalls and a full-blown thunderstorm. The tent seemed, however, to be holding out despite various broken poles. By morning the storms had passed, the sky was clear and after falling asleep again until 08:30 I got up to survey the area. Beaudean had had a certain significance during planning as is the birthplace of Dominique Jean Larrey as previously mentioned and had served as a sort of provisional destination around which I had arranged all other parts. So after the usual shower and clean-up I set off on foot into the village to explore a bit.

Beaudéan is not the sort of place where you´d need to plan in any significant time for walking about, I was through and done in about 20 minutes including going up the hill behind to take some photos. I located the Larrey museum which is in the centre of the village and found that it was closed today. In a moment remniscent of Alice in Wonderland it had been open yesterday and would be open again tomorrow, however, as I stood there a rural looking chap turned up in his land rover and put up a poster on the wall of the museum announcing a) a special all-day opening on Sunday the 22nd and, more importantly, b) a pre-premiere of the film about Larrey which has recently been completed (facebook link here) in nearby Bagnères-de-Bigorre which is just up the road from Beaudéan. Strangely, I had messaged with the lead actor about the film and the significance of the character in the history of medicine some months ago so this was slightly spooky. I resolved to try to make it on Sunday come what may.

I headed back to the campsite and chatted with a guy from Lille called Francis about this and that, he was thinking about moving down to the Pyrenees, we had various chats over the day (whilst doing laundry, washing-up etc as you do on a camping site). Back at the tent I finished up my last muesli/power bar, then got a laundry coin, got the laundry in the machine and set it going and handwashed my super-duper thermal-cooling-high-tech underwear with shower-gel. It was clouding over and rumbling and thus, the afternoon passed trying to dry laundry in the shower block and keep important stuff dry (my boots had got wet last night). Three thunderstorms went through by 7 by which time it was cold, wet and almost dark. It wasn´t quite what I call a Welsh washout with water flowing through the tent but was definitely a test of will. The weather forecast looked iffy or worse for several days so I resolved to break out on the morrow towards Spain to escape the wet. To confirm this to myself and to make myself feel better I booked a small hotel for tomorrow and thus retired to my ultra-comfortable but slightly damp airbed. I had had a scorpion moment earlier in the afternoon, the night before I had been woken up by a lot of creeping and crawling over my face and I found a scorpion lurking under my tankbag. It was a brief and one-sided contest and the loser was cast out into the wet grass.

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2wheels, adventure, ecology, dad and husband, green, news, tech-fan, trauma- and orthopod, engineer and human. https://mstdn.social/@MarkDW

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