A Travellerspoint blog

Monday 14th December

Today was a doing day! Up early in the morning and down to the post office to get €10 worth of stamps for Christmas postcards. Then off to fill up on fuel and get our gas bottle. Which turned out quite easy, a few phrases muddled together and we managed to get the woman to understand we wanted a new bottle and not one for exchange and she managed to get me to understand I needed to fill out a form. So 15 minutes later and we had a new gas bottle sitting in our locker, not yet connected mind. Only problem was we couldn’t fit our calor gas bottle in their as well and I wasn’t able to say or get her to understand if we could dispose of it, so it remained inside for us to somehow dispose of safely.

We now went onto the task of going to find ski trousers and some snow chains for the motorhome. We carried on a bit further and ended up in Lourdes, got ourselves some ski trousers and discovered that unlike what we had thought now chains are not cheaper nearer the Pyrenees! Well I say that but there were lots in supermarkets for only €30, but we were discovering that for our size of tyre and vehicle we would need a specialist snow chain and we could only find one and that was €160! But we would try again tomorrow, looking through loads more in Supermarkets hopeful to come across our size for cheap.

So we parked up on a car park in Lourdes next to the river and overlooking the mountains, and I soon discovered our next problem. Our new gas bottle had no connection piece, so we couldn’t fit our gas pipe to it and if we could of it missed the piece to turn the gas on and off. Now we didn’t know the correct name for the piece we were missing but from the paperwork discovered we should have been offered this when we bought it. As we were no longer in the same town we purchased it from we couldn’t go back to where we bought it, but we found the same supermarket and it seemed other bottles had these pieces. So I tried to explain that I needed this connection piece in a couple of French words while showing the form, but as she couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak French didn’t get anywhere apart from a no. So after a few supermarkets later, we went back to the same one for Lorna to try and she came back with the connection piece. So off back to the car park to now connect the bottle, which we did and no gas came out, so tried several times and still nothing, so decided it must be defective and went to a supermarket round the corner where I managed to get it swapped and back down to try to connect it again, and yet again the same result! Then Lorna had a go, and yet again she was successful, it seemed I had not pushed it properly down onto the bottle. So now we were back to being able to have heat etc.

We then decided to head round the town and over to Le Grotte. Lourdes is a very famous place for Pilgrims to come to, as in 1858 a woman saw a vision several times of Mary in a grotto and then said a church should be built over it. So now stands a huge magnificent church and chapels over a grotto that remains, where thousands come every year to pray and touch the rock where the woman had seen these visions. It is not only the church that does well from such visions but the town is now gripped in Religious fever with shop after shop and hotel after hotel profiting from the devoted thousands who flock upon this holy place. The power of religion is pretty astonishing.

Posted by marklorna 11:43

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