What an incredible day. The night was stormy with very high winds beating the refuge ( the highest in the Pyrenees, 2600m ) and the noise made it difficult to sleep. I also started to get a sore throat which isn't a surprise sharing these tiny rooms at night with many others. We were up early and left the refuge with more layers on than we've done before. Stepping outside the door was like walking into the eye of the storm. Rain, very high winds with gusts up to 170kph apparently. It was hard just to stand up let alone walk on narrow steep trails. But we had to get to a lower level ASAP otherwise the rising streams would cut off our path. We battled our way down the mountain with water gushing from everywhere. Crossing streams became exciting and at times dangerous. We even walked through waterfalls coming across the path. Dan quickly informed us to forget about keeping dry boots. Walk directly through streams/torrents when necessary. Took about 2 hrs to get down the mountain. We sheltered at the bottom in a little shepherd's hut and removed gloves and socks and wrung them out. Decided it was useless putting on dry ones. Jenny then announced she wasn't going on as she was struggling with a very special ankle and it was scary for her. A French group was just behind us and being collected at the hut so she got a lift out with them.
We set off again to cross the Pass. On the first torrent crossing Helen missed her footing on a rock and went under. Luckily another male walker was right there and with Pamela could drag her out quickly, as Dan jumped back across the torrent to help. She was totally soaked under her wet weather gear. Terrible! It was a long day of fog, rain and high winds. After crossing the pass and descending we went through lots of mud. Probably took us 3 hrs. The descent was long and towards the bottom we came across a number of other walkers struggling on slippery rocks and mud along rocky steep paths that had turned into streams. We stomped through looking like muddy drowned rats, overtaking most as they cautiously walked down trying to remain upright and clean!!
It was so nice to get to the accommodation and have a hot shower and finally recharge phones. We can take photos again!
Bunk bedroom. 4 beds. Very clean
Veges/ stuffed peppers
Lamb cutlets and chips/trout
Creme caramel/ Spanish milk pudding
Water pouring from the mountains in all directions and joining into bigger and bigger streams / rivers
It was an amazing sight
Helen's slip into the water