The forecast was for 34 degrees and we woke to rain on the skylights. After a swift breakfast we set off from the barn towards Mont Rouch with big packs. Passed the cabane Clos de Dessus and up to the frontier at 2677m, to the east of Mont Rouch where we gained the trail down into Spain and the Refugi Mont Roig. From there we climbed the ladder of lakes to find a camp spot at Etang de Sens where we stripped off for a quick dip to cool down and a cup of tea. My parents may even recognise the mugs as they were bought for our VW camper when I was a teenager. After a couple of hands of cards and a supper of spicy chorizzo and lentils with couscous we retired to the tent for the night.
Up with the alarm to a completely dry tent and an ascent in the shade up to the col between Etang Major and Etang d’Amunt del Vedo where we gained the ridge up to Pic de Ventolau. Clear skies and amazing views and hot. Taking the ridge west we took in Pic de Calberante and Pic de la Gallina before the Spanish Mont Roig and the French Mont Rouch where we found a tuna tacco shop (picnic) and a Spanish lass with a road atlas doing the HRP. She was very keen to get assistance to identify different peaks on the horizon. Then came the monster descent of 1800m back to the barn in sweltering heat.
The solar shower bag needed a significant amount of cold water adding before it was tolerable. Then the clouds descended and the drizzle started. Fortunately Breezy made an Aubergine Curry before we left so a quick supper, a film and bed; pleasantly fatigued.