. . . a beautiful walk along quiet roads from Parahou towards Quillan . . . autumn colours in full glory . . . a half expected lift the last few kilometres . . . warm and sunny in Quillan and a steep climb ahead on the route to Foix . . . time for some hitch-hiking . . under an hour and a car stops: Foix? Mirepois, viens . . . no idea where Mirepois is and my French is inadequate . . . the driver is terse . . . I understand he is ill . . . his heart . . . his driving is erratic, overtaking style indicating he does not expect to live much longer . . . anyway, he passes the Mirepois junction, drops me at Lavenalet . . . a very quick and quite exciting twenty kilometres . . . a strange and friendly town, post industrial and not quite sure what it's for anymore . . . like much of County Durham . . .
. . . a response from a Helpx host near Foix . . . come Saturday . . . find a room . . . find out where I am heading . . .
. . . this morning, the perfect hitch-hiking spot . . . on the edge of town, after a roundabout, a lay-by and a bus stop with Plan B due in under an hour . . . after forty minutes, a car . . . Foix? almost, one kilometre before . . . Laurent, who speaks almost no English and somehow we communicate very well . . . on the same wavelength . . . a tree surgeon, as a child he wanted a job climbing trees, became a butcher, listened to his heart and found his perfect job . . .
. . . and so to Foix . . . a beautiful old town between Toulouse and Andorra . . . a simple room in an Auberge . . . a helpful Englishwoman in her shop, Simply British (Marmite, Baked Beans), hello, is this the British Embassy? . . . she calls the Helpx place (very remote) . . . gives me directions . . . lived here thirty years and loves it . . . easy to see why . . .
. . . lunched on camembert baked in milk, garlic chips, salad . . . the sun is shining . . . time to wander . . .