Getting There

L’Hospitalet pres d’Andorre is a small town, just a village really, with a railway station and a night service from Paris, so a lot of people get to Paris in time for the sleeper and arrive early the next morning.

One problem with this is fuel for cooking, I was using a gas stove and needed to buy fuel before the walk, this is difficult in Paris en route and I couldn’t take it on the plane (or Eurostar) on the journey to Paris. I came up with the idea of flying Newcastle to Paris to Toulouse, arriving about 11.00am, I then planned to travel to the Decathlon store in Toulouse to buy gas before boarding the train to L’Hospitalet pres d’Andorre.

I left the house at 4.15am on Friday 28th July and headed for the airport, my flight was at 6.10am, and with hand luggage only, I boarded on time. We arrived at Paris CDG at around 8.45, getting off the plane took longer than expected and by the time I’d walked through the airport I simply joined the queue boarding the Toulouse flight.

I arrived in Toulouse at 11.0am, again I was on time. I had noted the address of the Decathlon shop and with bit of help from local people I took a train and then a tram into the centre of the city. The shop was easy to find but locating the gas took ages, I got anxious because this was key for my trip, I also looked for a small knife – another item not allowed in hand luggage – but they only had large ones so I left this. I asked for directions to the train station and it was only a few minutes walk away – I had plenty of time so I stopped for lunch and sought out a Casino supermarket to stock up on food. I completely re-packed my rucksack which had been in ‘flight-mode’ for the journey so far and I then had about 30 minutes to wait for the train.

An uneventful journey dropped me off in L’Hospitalet at 5.20pm, accounting for the time difference I had been travelling for 12 hours, which considering the relative inaccessibility of the village seemed pretty good.