December 22, 2015
Stranded in Gap
During our week in the mountains near Embrun, we lived in a postcard. Dozens of white mountain-tops, strongly contrasting against blue skies, alternated with green, slender pine trees that want to touch the skies. The setting sun was beautiful decor each evening. Our luck could not run out this week. Our days were filled with walking, running, picnics, sunbathing, bathing in cold rivers, meditation and yoga. And all of that in the most beautiful natural setting.
Again, scraped knees and hands Every day our tours became longer, with the high-point on Saturday. From Les Gourniers we entered Parc National des Écrins to go for a challenging tour. Into the ravine with great height differences. What a great day! Feeling small in nature. And to realise that you are at one with it. Jeroen becomes quicker and fitter by the day. Especially today it is difficult for me to keep up with him. But this terrier does not want to give in. On our way back we mainly went downward and Jeroen suggested we start running. Yes, I want to! Not even 500 metres further I fell flat on the gravel. Crap, scraped hands and knees again. Seems familiar! Does a fall have to slow me down once again? My enthusiasm sometimes makes me forget to listen to the signs of my body. The message, however, is loud and clear and taken seriously. The next day Jeroen feels like running again. Man, where does he find the energy? I decide to go off on my own. Walking calmly and take a lot of time for photography, yoga and meditation. Both of us return back at the camper at the end of the afternoon, completely satisfied…
After this ‘postcard week’, we drive to Gap on Sunday evening, which for us seems to be a new routine. We last about six days with our supplies and the possibility to camp in the wild. Water is the critical issue here. On day 7 we go into town to re-stock our supplies. The plan is to tour in the direction of Carcassonne and surroundings. We want to spend Christmas visiting several cathedrals of the Cathar-route. The Cathars were a spiritual grouping, active during the late middle ages, especially in the south of France. Their beliefs were gnostic in nature. Pierre Rooijmans, with whom Jeroen followed the course Spiritual Therapy for 1 year, as well as Tim Freke has awoken our curiosity about the Gnostics. I hope to be able to tell you more about this in the next blog.
No sooner said than done
On Monday morning we start with dumping the dirty water and refilling with clean water. After that we take the time to find biological products in the supermarket. That makes my heart skip a beat. A quick espresso in a local cafe, fill-up with gas, and we are on our way to Carcassonne. As ‘two happy dorks’ we do all our chores. We sing and kiss a lot when we do them:-). At the gas station Jeroen becomes quiet… Oh no!! The gas cap was left along the highway at the last stop. We both remain calm. Funnily enough I am happy that I was not the one who left it, forgetful me. Doom-thinking about ‘what could have happened’ is no use and so we do not do it. Thinking in solutions’. Duck-tape really is no option this time. So we head for a garage!
A blessing in disguise Gap is a large city. And the hospitality at the garage is good this time. After some wild hand gestures and poor English by the salesman, it becomes clear that the cap has to be ordered. The good man ensures us that the cap will be there tomorrow morning between 10 and 11. Let’s hope so.
Life could be at a slower pace
Passing through Gap a week earlier we did not think that his time was worth the effort of visiting. An hour later we realise we are lucky to be stranded here. Strolling through the old centre we gasp at the ‘Anton-Pieck-like streets’ with mundane caterers, chocolatiers and the hippest coffee-bars. This is what we both like! The Christmas market has started already and is cosy. At the end of the afternoon we, of course, have a glühwein together with the locals. We completely feel the Christmas-spirit! What a pleasant opposite to the sportive achievements in the mountains. The loss of a gas cap gives us a luxurious day of rest! The moral of this story is clear to us as well… Unnoticed we still travel in a high gear. Life could go at a slower pace. Fingers crossed that the gas cap arrives shortly….