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We are Emma, Shaun, Rex and Maggie! Join us as we explore the UK and beyond in our old motorhome Rene! After making the decision to head back into France, we made a mad dash in between storms to get over the mountain pass and back down into the French valleys. Just seven hairpins to go! We chose to travel at the weekend to minimise the number of lorries that would be traveling up and down this road it made for a much more comfortable drive [Music] [Music] We've stopped off a little village called San Lary, about 10 kilometers from the tunnel and we've decided to stop in this brand new aire facility that they've got in the village. It's quite cool, it has about 10 spots in it and it's brand spanking new, we're the only people here, we've got the whole place to ourselves. It's got one of these fancy ticket machines and where you pay to come in. In this one you pay for your water and electric separately, which means if you don't need water and electric, you don't have to pay for it! I think it was 10 pound fifty to stay here for the night and then it was like two pounds for electric for 24 hours and two pounds for a water top up as well, which you can see here, so you can get rid of your waist empty your loo. Then it's all tarmac and at first when we walked up we're like, oh no it's grass it's going to be really soggy but I don't know if you can see this but it's actually not even grass, it's moss and it's all got the plastic stuff underneath, so its brilliant, heavy Vehicles can go on it without getting stuck, which is awesome! The pitches are quite tight together but you expect that in an aire which is cool So we're down in the corner, it's kind of sandwiched between two holiday resorts, which both closed at the moment, so it's lovely and then just over here you can take the path and you've got some cool benches made it out of stone which is quite cool.

So just outside here, you've got access straight out of the aire onto this path, that goes that way into town or that way away from town and you're right on the river, which is absolutely raging, after all the rain we've had I'm not surprised, let's hope you can hear me. There's such cool walk, so you can walk all the way down into town and you can actually cross over at the end and go the other side of the river as well. Its pretty loud. Yeah the river is is pretty loud and it's pretty high, so from our van I'm literally stood on the path and then there's Shaun and the van, just there, so it's quite good. Really nice spot and apart from the river it's super quiet, like I said there's no one around, you might think it's quite expensive for what it is but actually for peace of mind, it's a nice little spot and it's just on the edge of town, so you're not right in the noisy parts.

It's Saturday night tonight and like I said what place to ourselves! Hello morning, as you can see the sun has got its hat on, yes, after how many days of rain have we had, I can't remember now, just a lot, yeah probably about five or six? So we have made it back across from Spain, we're now in a little place called San Lary Soulon, yeah I think that's right and that's it little village behind us little ski resort. We're staying on an aire and it's Monday morning so we've decided to come out for a little hike, not too much of one, I think it's about 6K yeah, just to stretch our legs after being in the van for so long and I think what we're going to do is just go on this hike hopefully we'll get some nice views of the village. So we're not sure what the name of the hike is so we'll put that on the screen and how far it is and then we'll take you along, we're just coming out of the village now so we're just about to start going up into the mountains so let's see what we can find! Saint Lary Soulon is a ski resort in the winter and a hiking and mountain biking area in the summer [Music] This is where the bears live! We have just come back alongside the village and we're starting to go down a little bit, there's a village down there somewhere, we haven't seen any bears yet have we Shaun? No, no bears yet! Seen some cows, somebody left the rope lying across the path, as to when they're obviously moving them around they've sort of put a rope across the path and they'd left it, so we've left it but it's the mountain bike track as well, so let's hope no one comes down at speed otherwise they're going to be buggered! Yesah all right I've got across this now, I'll put the camera away! There are about 70 wild brown bears living in the Pyrenees, half of which live in the central region, which includes Saint Lary, although you are highly unlikely to ever come across one, as they are shy, fearful and mostly nocturnal. [Music] So we've made it to the Village, we don't know how to pronounce it, do we, so I'm going to put it down here. I think it's Sailhan, yeah but who knows, who knows, so we're gonna walk through the village see what we can find and then I think what we do is we take a left and head back into Saint Lary.

So this fountain fills up these troughs, I think it was built in 1834 I read and then comes down here and it feeds the old washer women's laundry, so you can do your laundry, cool isn't it? [Music] They like to chuck you a curveball on these routes, don't they and put a nice steep descent. Yeah it's good though, it's not too bad, it's quite grippy even after so much rain, it's really dry. but you know you've still gotta watch where you're going! Knowing me I'll trip over! Yeah, be careful you, old man! [Music] Do they think giants live here? Blimey, I dont know what they are trying to stop getting up there but it's almost stopping me! [Music] Well I'm gonna say morning, rather than good morning today. We are still in Saint Lary and we'd plan to stay here for a couple of days and then head down to another village further down the valley, on our way home, but we went to the supermarket yesterday and unfortunately when we drove out I noticed a couple of lights had appeared on the dashboard. I thought it's basically this service light and this glow plug and water in the fuel light, so I just thought, oh it's okay, it's just glow plugs, we'll get them sorted out when we get home, you know glow plugs aren't a problem but then after a little bit of Googling and a bit of research it says that we've got to go to a Renault dealer. So to be honest we're gonna head home now because we've been away for six weeks and we added a little chat and actually we're happy with our trip now, we don't need to stay any longer, so we're going to head home, but first of all we're going to head to the Renault garage, so fingers crossed it won't be too serious but who knows! So quick update we were driving to tarbes and we drove through a village called Arreau, which was where we were originally going to stay over the weekend anyway and as we're driving out the back Emma spots a Renault truck garage, so we dive into their car park, go and see them and they are fully booked until next Thursday but they said that they are going to try and see us, we can park in their car park and if someone doesn't turn up then they'll have a look at the van and let us know what's what.

So looks like we're staying in Arreau anyway over the weekend, so it's not really changed our plans but we're going to be in the car park of a garage rather than a camping car park, so there you go so we're gonna have some lunch now and see if they can fit us in this afternoon, uh and yeah see how we go! [Music] The garage was unable to fit us in that day, so we decided to head to the local camping car park aire a mile up the road for the night. The aire provided us with some quiet entertainment, as many clouded yellow butterflies danced around the wild daisies, black redstarts picked bugs out of the air, and we watched red kites soar high above us in search of their dinner. [Music] As the sun went down we were also treated to some beautiful cloud formations over the peaks surrounding us. Well we're back in the car park they didn't get to see us yesterday, so we've come back bright and early this morning, eight o'clock, so there's Rene, he's just waiting over here and then there's the garage just over there, you can't really see it very well but that's where we're waiting to go. So the garage owner and I just had a chat and he said that as soon as he's ready, he's gonna pop over and let us know that he can have a look and do a diagnostic, so we're just gonna go and have a cup of coffee and we'll wait for him to come over and see us. Good afternoon, the garage man came at just around lunchtime, just before lunchtime and he plugged his machine in and had a little look around the engine started it a couple of times and then came and told me that the spark plugs were broken, so becuase it's a diesel we have glow plugs, I know that much, so uh he learned a new word, as in glow plugs and he said it's fine for us to drive home and just get them fixed when we get home, so panic over, we're all good but I think we're gonna stay in this village because he looks quite nice anyway, so we're gonna stay in here and then we're gonna travel on Sunday morning because then the traffic will be quite light and then had head back to the coast and then start our journey back home.

[Music] Arreau is at the crossroads of the Louron and Aurevalleys in the heart of the Pyrenees. [Music] [Music] It is nestled along the banks of two rivers and has a quaint riverside feel with a few bars restaurants and shops.[Music] It has some interesting medieval and gothic architecture, as well as having a rich history as a commercial crossroads. [Music] So hopefully you can hear us over the fountain that we found in the center of Arreau, weve found ourselves an amazing little French Village, so actually it's been a bit of a uh silver lining to the cloud of Rene getting some warning lights on, because we found this little beauty.

Really pretty! [Music] [Music] [Music] Good morning! Good morning! We have come into the village of Arreau, we're not saying it right because I can't roll my r's, so um so I'll put it down here somewhere. We've decided to come out on a bit of a hike today so we've picked a route that's fairly easy, we think, yeah what is it 6K or something, 8K and 230 meters of ascent, so not too much, I think most of it's just up here as well, So we're following the yellow signs, I don't know if you can see those behind us and we're heading out on a hike and hopefully we'll have some nice views of the village and I think there might be some caves on this one, yeah maybe, let's see, see what we find but we'll probably we'll put the name of the hike down on the bottom of the screen as well, yeah because we can't pronounce that either, we do try though! France is really good all the, Pyrenees has been very, very good, so every time we've been out on a hike there's normally a yellow sign which gives you the distance or the time it's going to take you to do the hike, the name of the hike, sometimes a number as well but then the hikes are always marked ,so all you have to do is watch for these arrows, now this one actually means that we need to turn left at the top, if it was just the bar there it'd be straight on and vice versa if the arrow was going the other way, so it's good because we don't have to keep getting our phones out! [Music] and if you see the crosses that means you're going wrong and you need to turn around and check for an arrow going in the other way, so yeah so we should turn left which is up there I think, let's go up there then, let's go, come on rex [Music] This is the first place we're going and this is the second, so I know we're heading the right way. [Music] so most of the elevation we've hit in the first, first well whatever 500 meters but look at that view, we've got now literally straight out of the town, the church is in the center there and then we've got the valley there, where the hair dryer is coming from, she's warming everything up and then we have got some more Pyrenees and then there's Rene just down there. It's started off really well, let's hope the rest of it's as good as this! [Music] So I think we've made it up most of the 230 odd meters of ascent on this walk and it's a lovely walk, it comes along the edge of the valley, you can see the whole town and going up the valley towards Spain there, which is where we got the tunnel and there's a beautiful river that runs through town and there I don't know if you can just see down there somewhere, I don't know if my finger's in the right place, is the brilliant garage that sorted us out yesterday, just there, we'll be forever grateful for them to just give us some peace of mind for the rest of the journey home.

So we're carrying on down this path into the next Village I think, a little Maggie is eating a stick so that's all right, we get really lovely, what I've been calling a vulture view, because there's so many vultures around here, of the whole Valley from this point it's lovely [Music] [Music] so not only does it feel like the hairdryer has been turned back on, it's blooming boiling, you've got a little bit of a road walk in this section but actually I haven't seen another car have we, oh no not another car, a car, no but yeah it's so cool, you can see the hills behind me, so just epic views basically! [Music] [Music] This walk did get a bit steep and uneven in places, which all added to the fun. [Music] However if it had been wet it could have been quite dangerous, so that's something to consider [Music] Oh my God, I'm not sure how I'm gonna do this! Carefully! Come on let's go Moo! The Noisettia cave is named after the Hazel trees that grow near the entrance, Middle Paleolithic tools and artifacts have been found in the cave, as well as fossils from mountain species including Ibex, red fox, bear, leopard, and dhole. which is a type of wild dog, which went extinct in Europe over 11 000 years ago.

No, I'm not going to go any further, I'm happy with that, I'll just have a little look. I just wanted to show you the cave, cave has been shown. but you wouldn't go in any further because it was a bit scary, wasn't it. I don't really like caves. You don't like the dark.

No I don't, I don't like heights or caves. There might be a monster in there as well. Yeah there might be something, anyway we'll carry on now! [Music] Its a little one, there might be a bear in there. Might be, Yogi Bear. I was gonna go Yabba dabba-doo but that's not a bear is it? No that's not definitely not right. That's the flinstones! [Music] As we headed down to the valley floor we came across the disused railway line which was closed in 1969 which we followed all the way back into Arreau.

[Music] So that's the end of the hike we're back here in Arreau, time to go back to the pub and have a beer! Definitely! Join us next time, as we head back to the coast and start our journey home. [Music] Thanks for watching!

2023-02-26 06:34

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