My Pyrenees HRP Diary - Introduction

This blog was begun in 2015, to record my walk along the Pyrenees HRP from Hendaye to Banyuls. If you want to read about that, I suggest you start here.

But that is all in the past now, and I have expanded the blog a little to cover more recent events.. such as:

Snowdonia Way
Hebden Bridge
Equipment Reviews
North Downs Way

and also, one day:

Pennine Way .. which I am due to walk for the third time in 2019, this time from N to S I think

I hope you will find something interesting. Please do provide a little feedback or comment, and if you are interested in something that I didn't say enough about, please let me know .. happy walking!


Sunday, 19 July 2015

HRP Day 12

Sunday 19 July - Lescun to Refuge d'Arlet

Today was a great day.

You could be forgiven, reading the earlier updates, for thinking I was a bit of a misery, always moaning on and mentioning difficulties. The main
reason for that has been,  in the well-known phrase, "Your guidebook is writing cheques your body can't cash." In England it is hard to prepare for altitude and for mountains of this size, so all you can do is go steadily and hope things will pick up in due course. This usually takes at least a week, so the welcome improvement today is about par for the course.

I set off about 7.30am from lescun fed, rested, laundered and re-equipped, and feeling reasonably good. Nothing (L knee apart) ached, throbbed, was swollen or burnt. First you have to go down from lescun to a bridge over the river in the valley below. From there it is more or less a continuous climb up to the col de Pau, at 1942m, about 1150m above. I didn't take much water as there is a waterpoint near the top, at a shepherd's hut called Benaris. After a steady climb I arrived at the col, still breathing well and not too tired.  Climbing is all about lung power, and clearly mine is on the up. There was a friendly group of six Belgian girls at the col as well, and we set off together for the next stage, the ridge walk along to Arlet. But what is this? Jerry has pressed the accelerator, zoomed past them all and disappears into the distance! Golly.
In truth I did not go too fast, as the views from the ridge are spectacular. I have been here once before, when cloud covered everything, but today, though I was in cloud for much of the climb, I broke out before I reached the top into warm sunshine and it was so good to catch up with this marvellous panorama which hopefully the photos will hint at.
Now I am at Arlet (2000m) and the cloud has risen so much there is no longer any view here, you can hardly see the lake 25m away.
I will eat dinner and breakfast here but rather than sleep in the refuge I elected to pitch my tent round the corner in the designated area. When I arrived it was empty bit then a party of about 40 or 50 noisy Spanish teenagers arrived, a scout group apparently. So tonight it will be me and them in tents.. I have earplugs. Watching the way they interact with each other, I can't see the Spanish birthrate dropping any time soon.

near the top of the col de Pau. Cabane be Benaris in the middle (currently occupied) and if you look carefully there is a line of sheep walking up the top ridge
cloud moving up
two more of the lovely iris that cover the hillside around here
apparently an escape route during the war. Chasing Germans would have to be fit
Arlet is a hotspot for donkeys and asses. 
panorama from near Arlet
the little grey tent is mine, all the others the Spanish scout contingent. In the event the donkeys made much more noise! 
Refuge dArlet

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