Un. Seulement.

The cold that had begun to take hold of my breathing apparatus during the walk up to the Col de Pétragème really knocked me for a loop, and I spent most of the next day dozing, blowing my nose, and moaning loudly for sympathy. The sleek and healthy A headed over the ridge on the GR10 and had a great and eventful solo walk to Borce. We all drove over late in the day to pick him up “near the bridge” to Estaut, across the N134 and the Gave d’Aspe. In Borce, we parked and I staggered dopily around looking for same. I finally came upon a local and asked where the bridge was. He directed me  back to the one at the turn-off from the main road.

This didn’t seem right to me. The map clearly showed a bridge from roughly the center of the the village. “C’est là peut-être un autre pont?”

“Non,” he declared, holding up his right thumb. “Un.” Thumb wave. “Seulement.”

Well, at least he’d understood what I was trying to say. And he seemed pretty sure. But I wasn’t convinced. Maybe it was just a pedestrian bridge?

“Pour marcher à Etsaut….”

“Non, non.” Shaking the thumb at me. “Un. Seulement.”

“Pas un autre?” Moving two fingers to indicate walking. “Peut être….”

NON, NON, NON.” Fed up with this cloddish, mouth-breathing American and his execrable French. “UN.” Thumb thrust in my face. “SEULEMENT.”

We moved haltingly to a plan B, eventually found A strolling toward the café in Estaut for a well-deserved beer, and discovered, naturally, that there is, indeed, a second bridge across road and river.


Un. Seulement. — 2 Comments

  1. I will always remember that cafe as it had life saving substances amongst its provisions… cigarettes. Not many: Just enough to sell to my nicotine dependent friend so we didn't have to travel back down the valley to the next town.

  2. Ha!

    So relatively close to the Basque country, I was asked to order cider for some members of the group. It wasn't until I got back to the table that I read a label. Brittany.

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