Last visitors of the summer

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Mont Vallier

Carolyn and Dawn met at the chalet in Chamonix in the winter and have become firm friends. They flew out to Carcasonne and then drove over to the barn. Keen walkers we had a list of possible itineraries depending on the weather and fitness levels. An interest was expressed in hiking in to Spain for a night so a menu plan was also kind of flexible.

Paella on the first night of arrival has become a bit of a signature for a first stay at the barn. This one got cooked indoors as the wind was too strong and kept blowing out the gas.

Day one we went over to Pic des Trois Seigneurs with an early start to beat the heat. One of our favourite walks although it is just over an hours drive away. It has a bit of everything with a reasonably high start point at Port de Lers, steep up the ridge, then a fantastic ridge walk with amazing views all the way to the summit of Trois Seigneurs. The descent takes in the Etang d’Arbu for a swim then a hot walk down to a bend in the road below the parking at Port de Lers. We actually parked at the bend and walked up to the start to avoid walking the road in the heat of the day at the end. The van said the temperature was 39 degrees when we finished.

Forecast for the next couple of days was marginal but we committed to walking from the barn over Port de Salau and down to the Refuge Fornet in Spain. Stay the night there and then return via the Port d’Aula. We had done a car drop on the road to Col de la Pause the day before to make the return easier. A Dutch friend Miriam joined us which was great.

We started in cloud and much cooler temperatures, only reaching sunshine when we reached Cabane des Lannes. What fantastic views of the mountains peaking through a sea of cloud. We dried out in the last 240m to the Col.

The descent path down to Refuge Fornet was much better marked than last time we did it and Spain was completely clear of cloud.

A couple of beers on the terrace, a couple of games of dice and a lovely meal before bed and an early start the next day. Unfortunately it started to spit with rain just as we set off. Waterproofs came off once we reached the grass roofed cabane above Borda de Perosa. Not so well marked route took us up to Port d’Aula in very light drizzle. Wind at the frontier pushed us down the hill to Etang d’Areau, just above the cloud level, where we had a buffet lunch from the contents of everyone’s rucksacks. The descent through the cloud on the GR10 to the car was eased with a word game of professions starting with the letter H.

Beers at the Auberge in Salau before outdoor showers at the barn and chilli con carne with cauliflower rice.

The last day of their stay was very wet. The fire was lit and games were played. A nice finale and a chance to recover. Thank you.

Categories: Summer 2023, The Project Tags: Tags:

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