Lourdes was a must see on the list – the architecture nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees rather than any religious reason! 

We spent a day at the various churches and monasteries – especially the Catholic Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes. We treated ourselves to a lunch out in the town and spent a couple of hours in the company of many Irish folk – Lourdes is awash with them!

Much of the town is not surprisingly given over to religious tourism – empty water bottles for holy water etc. Probably the busiest place we have been in a month. Lots of character but a very hairy to ride the bikes – definitely not a velo friendly town! We also visited the fort which is on a rock pinnacle in the middle of the old town.

On the second day we started with laundry and then cycled out to the Funiculaire du Pic du Jer (https://www.lourdes-infotourisme.com/web/FR/2449-pic-du-jer.php) and a hairy 1000 meter climb and fantastic panoramic view of the whole area. We were just about level with the clouds. And a wonderful meal at the top. There are caves up the top too, but having only been to Betharram a couple of days before we gave the caves a miss this time! There is a black mountain bike run down the hill, but after the ‘Wales incident’, sports like downhill MTB are off the menu at the moment. 

Back to base and planning for the next few days – we are plotting the best course through the Pyrenees.

We’ve been more productive in the last few days because the TV is not working. Well, to be more accurate, the satellite system is not working. It finds the satellite ok, but there are only a few channels working. We think that we’ve come far enough south that the dish needs an adjustment to the ‘skew’ and the blighters back at home are being tardy telling us how to do it.

T has given it ‘a thick coat of thinking about’ and decided that messing about with it before getting the definitive instructions might make it worse. We have a full set of manuals with us for every single item installed and bought with us, but the stupid manual for the satellite dish just says ‘adjust the skew’.

Update: After spending a long evening with the internet becoming satellite TV experts it turns out that the UK broadcasters now try to use special UK only transponders on the latest Astra satellites and the bleed into the rest of Europe is very limited, so that may be our lot for UK TV for a while. Might as well cancel the fecking TV license then! We’ve got a few days behind posting here – we ran out of data – oops!