We kiss Nice goodbye at 6.30 am and make our way to the station for the three trains to Tarbes. It looks so pretty in the dark and everywhere is quite busy as people are making their way to work. Our first change is Marseille and second is Toulouse.
The paths are not yet littered with dog poo and are still wet from the street washing that seems to happen at night. I know because I threw the wi does open at 4am to see what all the noise was.
We pass through the industrial areas before the countryside. The train is so quiet and smooth and I quickly nod off while Gilbert reads. At Toulon however quite a large number get on and a couple of men tell us we are in their seat. I get out our tickets sure we have got in the right ones and show him and he says yes. Right seat no but wrong carriage. This is 16. You are that way in 17.
Embarrassed and with the train beginning to move we jump up and start to gather up our belongings and head to the next carriage where somebody already is comfortable. Excuse me. Is this carriage 17? No several people answer. It is 18. 17 is that way, and they point to where we have come from. We head back and kick them outt’ve our seats and now they are embarrassed and get up without a problem. Flippin heck! I can’t believe we just meekly got up and moved like that!
And so around nine and a half hours pass. We manage the offs and ons with no problems. I read a stupid book on kindle but before I delete it I learn that there’s no truth to the thought that humans only use around 10% of their brain and that most women develop the communication side of the brain using on average 7000 words per day whereas men use on average 2000 words per day. “Hey, listen to this…” I tell Gilbert and he grunts so I’m four up just in that few seconds. Yep it’s possible I think. I take some poor quality photos through a dirty window and think it looks a bit like a water colour and I might paint that once I’ve mastered pencil work.
Finally we board the train to Lourdes which we get off at Tarbes and get collected by Sandra who is Marcos wife. I’m worried I won’t know her but a car pulls up and a little Marco with gorgeous brown eyes looks out. “They’re here” I call to Gilbert. I would’ve known that face anywhere. They have a lovely spot with a nice big section and while we are having coffee on the terrace in the warm afternoon sun, we notice their goat on the grass verge.
The boys round him up and we sit back, but in amazement watch him slip through the fence and back out. Aha! Gilbert tells the boys to tempt him with an apple and wanders down to watch. Before we know it Gilbert has found some chicken wire and is fixing the fence. In his element. I hope Marco didn’t have that wire earmarked for something else…