Monday 28 July 2014

taking the waters

Summer pasture lands just above Barèges, July 2010

And finally,
the big day comes.

I get up later than expected from my after lunchtime siesta and trundle over to the Tourist office in our village. The bus for the thermal baths is slowly filling with patients when I arrive ten minutes later. 

The driver takes us up the Barèges valley, along the road to the col du Tourmalet. We overtake panting cyclists wishing to measure themselves against the greats. 

Ten minutes later, we arrive in the spa of Barège, a long, thin village clinging to the hill slope along the river Bastan. The thermal baths have been here for over three hundred years. 

French people have been coming here every year to take the waters. To be taken care of. To find healing and peace in the shadow of the mountain, beside the bubbling brooks and thermal springs.

And finally.
Today it is my turn.  

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