The lake below is called Ibons deras Batanes. I felt guilty descending the slope because I’d pretended not to understand the buenos dias from a large Spanish party which arrived here at Cuello De Brazato. I’d already been talking with a Basque couple, the group was rather loud, and I wanted mountain peace again as I set off. It was my loss because I enjoy the exchanges which are usually very friendly and cheery. They are themselves pleasant memories across the Pyrenees. I descended the Ara Valley about two years ago after walking up from Cauterets and camping below Vignemale and beside the Oulettes refuge. It wasn’t a good night and I considered an emergency retreat to the hut to escape heavy rain. The next day was clear and sunny and I enjoyed seeing the Vignemale from a different vantage point. It was the birthday of a man in the hut. I think he was the manager; I think I remembered him from about two years previously and a nice girl who enquired if my meal was OK. It was very good. An adzuki bean salad providing much needed protein. On my second visit everyone was encouraged to sing “joyeuse anniversaire.” I had a good lunch down at the lake. Cheese and a fresh baguette from the Panticosa refuge, and a tomato I’d carried from Sallent de Gallego.

 

Pyrenees Book: Ibons Deras Batanes And Vignemale

Tuesday December 17, 2013