The end of this walk, Lescun to Arlet, was demoralising and grim. The rain started. It started some more. It got worse. I wasn’t really prepared for it and I was exhausted. My trousers needed pulling up and the tie cord fastening, but I was too tired. I needed my Goretex socks under my sandals but I was too tired again. It’s difficult to understand the stress and difficulty of unhitching a heavy rucksack and making such adjustments if you’re not a backpacker. Details are magnified. Effort increases. Stress, discomfort and anxiety fill the moment which is utterly different from a stroll in the park. I had to get to the refuge before they decided enough was enough and no more food was available whomever might arrive. That was another reason not to stop.

As it transpired, after labouring slowly up and around the base of Pic Rouges as thunder crashed in the distance, I arrived at the hut at seven thirty which was dinner time. Table was pleasant with friendly company but I was initially too tired for it. After rest, soup, bread and water, I started to recover and enjoy conversation. A Dutch couple doing the HRP, a French lady doing a short circuit of the Aspe valley, a Spanish chap the other side of the table. Hand shakes, smiles, chat, laughter. The rain had stopped and I decided to sleep in my tent accordingly. A wet tent pitched in further rain is the worst thing. These were the final views of the day. The company was pleasant but I luxuriated in the solitary silence.


Pyrenees Walking: Evening at Arlet

Thursday September 18, 2014