We set off early after a lovely breakfast and it wasn't long before we were at the famous Chemin de la Mâture. Helen had hardly slept worrying about this path. It was amazing. A km long path carved up high along a cliff. It was pretty amazing. We had a bit of a climb to get there then it was a long continuous climb after leaving it, for most of the day.
We encountered a friendly farmer bringing his cows down from the high pastures. They were just on the narrow path but luckily we encountered them at a T intersection and they were going straight ahead whilst we turned into where they had come from. The farmer told me he was bringing them down as rain is forecast for tomorrow and he will now keep them in the barn over winter. Fingers crossed the rain passes during the night!
Coming out of the trees we climbed steadily up a very long valley, eventually stopping for lunch at a high point about 3/4 way up with lovely view back down the valley.
After lunch we got to the top rim of the valley and thought the view from where we had come was fantastic. When we crested the top we were speechless.... For a few seconds anyway. The view across many peaks was extraordinary. It made me feel quite emotional and Helen also said she almost had tears in her eyes. Views have never done this to me before. Was I just tired or was it the view? In any case it will remain memorable.
We walked all the top for awhile then dropped into another valley. Yet another unbelievable view!!! There was a huge mountain right before us. Pic de midi d'ossau
We met Dave (from Aust ) again after seeing him first in Lescun hotel. He was also at the refuge
Refuge de Ayous
Large airy refuge with wonderful views over lake and Pic de midi d'Ayous
cold handbasin wash
Bunk beds on planks in tiny room 14 people. (2x 4 on bottom, 3 on top ) Stifling at night
breakfast at Borce
-freshly baked bread (for some!)
- GF crackers
- freshly squeezed apple juice,
- ham cheese and jams
Minced veal and rice
195€ dinner b&b drinks lunch for 4 people
Jenny survived first day
Chenin de la Mature
Views at Refuge d'Ayous