So something we have been thinking about for ages was to head into Spain walking and have a night in a refuge in Spain. Maps had been browsed and plans made. We had already changed dates due to bad weather but the forecast for the next 2 days was good so we decided to make a go of it.
Early start 6am up, fruit salad made up for brekky on arrival, butties made for lunch and out the door by 7am.
We headed to Cirque to Cagateille parking as the start point. Yummy fruit and yoghurt brekky once we got there to get us going for the day. We have done the walk up to Etang Hilette before but never any higher up. We were feeling fresh and raring to go and made good time up to Etang Hilette and Col de Couillac in roughly 3.5 hours up 1400m. We were luckily in the shade most of the way up which made things much easier. Views from the Col were stunning although a little hazy. Overlooking Spain you have some wonderful picturesque lakes to look at and walk past. Too early for lunch at the Col so we thought we would aim for the middle lake for lunch. the hazy sunshine disappeared and full on sun returned for us which was gorgeous, sitting by the lakes taking in the new views and just going WOW! a really gorgeous area.
We then had a tiny col to go over and we could then see the Refugio Certascan perched on a rocky outcrop just above a stunning waterfall.
It was lovely to have the time to sit at the col with map out and piece bits and pieces together. An easy traverse across to the refugio where we sat in the sun and relaxed. A 4o bedded refugio run by the same chap for 30 years. Clean and warm with good food. We were the first to arrive but there were also 2 French lads we had dinner with who had come the same way as us and also a group of 8 retired Frenchies on a 2-3 days hike too in Spain. Good atmosphere and we slept well after a good meal.