Monday 31 August 2015
A long day today. The Col de l'Ouillat is at 936m, and the total ascent for today is 700m. It follows that to get to the beach at banyuls, a descent of 1636m is needed, a real challenge for my knees. But with the great incentive of knowing that when it's done it's done, I plugged away.
The HRP had one last joke to play. For the entire morning, visibility was virtually nil. I was firmly in cloud, and damp cloud at that. So my first sight of the sea was not until about 1.30pm, with Banyuls itself in the distance.
I got to the beach about 5pm, I confess I did feel slightly out of place because I couldn't see anyone else there at all who had a large rucksack, walking poles and boots. Most had much less. Nothing daunted, I accosted a tanned adonis, who kindly agreed to take some photos, see below. He informed me he had been up Vignemale and Aneto, and seemed properly appreciative & friendly. We shook hands, then I had a quick beer, and off to find my hotel.
Afterwards I had a very nice dinner with Florent and Reg, One of the features of walking in these mountains is the lovely people you meet.
Although this is the end of the line, walkwise, there will be a few more posts to this blog. Some reflections on the experience as a whole, and some reviews of the equipment I took, and how it performed. Most of it actually did very well, though don't talk to me about walking poles!
It will be nice to get back home to Linton