We started a bit earlier as this was to be another long hard day, as per the guide book.
Climbed constantly for the first 3 hours. Initially traversed up the mountain next to the lake and as we got higher the lake below slowly dropped out of sight. We passed the huge waterfall at the end of the lake and in the early morning light it looked like liquid silver. The path was rocky in places but generally long traverses with many switchbacks.
Our strategy is to walk slowly on the climbs and moderately for everything else. We stop every 2 hrs for a break and food. Keeping these stops short keep us on schedule wrt the guide book. About 7 mins for snack stop and 20-30min for lunch stop.
Once over the first mountain pass we descend a steep slope along a narrow rocky ledge. Happy to get off that! Then a nice traverse high up not far from the ridge line. We stopped for lunch on a little promontory before the last push to the next pass.
The descent from that pass was long and arduous. We went down switchbacks for 1.5hrs and even the traverses on those were so steep we were constantly using our poles to brake our ourselves. It was a killer on the knees and toes. One of my feet was hurting badly and it was a relief to have a slight ascent for a short while. Eventually climbed to the ski resort of Superbagnes and the cable car was way too tempting for the final descent of well over 1500m. Helen has never been in a cable car before and my foot was hurting badly so we happily caught it to Bagnères de Luchon )Our stop for 2 nights) verses another hour of steep descending.
More surprises were in stall for us there as the town was having a festival! After checking into our gîte we headed into town to see the street festivities of bands and Pom Pom girls !
Elevation Gain for the day 1000m Descent 1900m (YIKES!)
High spots. Hourquette des Hounts-Secs 2275m
Col de la Coume de Bourg 2273m
Accommodation Gîte de Lutin
Fabulous place. Clean, Great showers, a room to ourselves and the wonderful food.
Bfast. Teff porridge
Lunch: yummy picnic from the Refuge Rice salad, apple strawberry compote, crisps, goats cheese, chorizo and another dried sausage
Dinner: Greek salad , local beef stew in red wine , potato and celery gratin, green beans. 3 local cheeses (instead of the GF chocolate mousse gateau which helen had and looked fantastic )
Dinner €20 incl wine
views were wonderful
When we were in pain after the 1.5hr killer descent, seeing 2 young girls come past us from the left. They had been sunbaking at the top of the last pass along with other families, as we went over. They came prancing past and apparently there was a much easier descent than the GR10 that we religiously followed. They saved an hour and injured bodies!!! The French guys doing the GR10 were behind us but no one else took the GR10 track. Why would you???