Km 5017 to km 5120, Gavarnie (France) to Lescun (France).
01/10/2022 – 24km
Very hot today, but I’m not complaining. I made it over two passes today, and most of the way up a third. There’s been quite a bit of snow here in the last few days, but under the beating sun it’s all turned to slush.
As I was setting up camp, there was a helicopter circling a nearby peak. I hope they were able to rescue who ever was in trouble, but I didn’t see it stop anywhere. Perhaps it was on the other side of the mountain.
02/10/2022 – 24km
Today’s elevation profile was quite misleading (I know there’s only so much information it can tell you). In case you were wondering, am elevation profile is just a graph showing the elevation (y axis) over distance (x axis), and it gives you an idea of how the way goes up and down.
Anyway, today’s elevation profile was mostly flat for the first half, then a big descent and climb for the second half. It turned out that the “flat” was largely over snowy boulder fields, and took about 6 hours. Whereas the big up and down was on good paths and took only 2 hours (or there about).
Part of the trail went along a small ledge covered in snow and ice. I’m very grateful that it was secured with a cable.
Tonight I’m in a hut (Pombie) with real food to help make my supplies last a bit longer.
03/10/2022 – 30km
No big passes today. I think the real alpine stuff is now behind me. I’m still in the mountains, but I can feel it getting gentler.
I passed through a ski resort where I assumed everything would be closed, but there was still a part of me hoping to get lunch or a cold coke or something. Unfortunately, as predicted, the place was completely dead, except for one other person who waved to me who I think might be on a Camino de Santiago route. So possibly my first pilgrim.
04/10/2022 – 20km
A short day of walking, only 5 hours, as I planned to take a rest in Lescun.
As I descended into the valley I was met with a kind of wonderland. Rolling green hills, dotted with old stone farmhouses, enclosed by an incredible cirque of mountains. I must say, the first impression was very good.
As my luck would have it, things just seemed to get better. The campsite is beautiful and has a kitchen, fridge, WiFi (apparently it didn’t in 2019), free use of the washing machine, new toilets/showers. The village was also a gem (old and characterful), with a great little shop where I could buy more supplies. They also served pizza.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m quite enamoured of this area. One of my favourite stops of the whole route.