Day 11 - Tuesday 31st July 2007

By Yellow Train to the Cerdagne

Today's first pictue is actually from yesterday, but missed the deadline when I took the pictures off the cameras. Rosie and Katherine took charge of the kitchen and made a tasty pasta bolognese, much appreciated especially by those who'd been walking all day.

On to today: we would take the Petit Train Jaune (Little Yellow Train) which runs from Villefranche-de-Conflent all the way to La Tour Carol, high in the mountains by the Spanish border. But we would only go half way, on a one-way ticket, and Meld and Mark would drive up and meet us at Mont Louis station. A photo opportunity, outside...

...and inside.

From the train you get lots of glimpses of villages that you pass through or by

Some have stations, most just have little halts where the train stops on request.

B was on active duty, especially as the train went through tunnels and blew its whistle.

At one station we had to wait ages for the down train to come, whch made us half an hour late.Eventually the train came down the hill.

Don't hang out of the windows!

About to cross the suspension bridge we saw last year as we descended from the Andorran border.

The view from Mont Louis/La Cabanasse station where we got off.

A gathering of yellow trains.

We met up with the cars in La Cabanasse where Mark and I planned our next moves.

We visited a Boulangerie and bought pains au chocolat and pains aux raisins, and an amazing croissant aux amandes for Meld.

The monkeys from Besançon liked the iron work on the fountain.

We drove up to Font Romeu then through the Chaos de Targassonne - large rocks strewn all over the place, presumably by glacial action. We stopped to look, and met all sorts of insect life, including butterflies...

...and many multi-coloured crickets.

We drove into Spain, the town of Puigcerda, but couldn't find anywhere suitable for a picnic, so we filled up with cheap diesel (EUR0.999 a litre - about 68p). Then back through Bourg Madame onto the Route Nationale back towards the Conflent, stopping for a picnic huddled around a shady picnic table.

Further down the valley we stopped to look over the suspension bridge, and Joe reclined on a rock.

Back to the campsite for loo, tea and change, then up the Rotja valley for more swimming in the river. Fun with floats...