This is the view from my tent looking up the Marcadau valley. It’s a large and beautiful area. The Wallon refuge is a ten minute walk to the rear of this outlook. On the skyline you can see Grand Fache. I had a cold naked wash in this river. The sun was pleasant but the air cold. I dried myself then sat on the rocks for five minutes, drying further, then put my clothes on. The meal at the refuge was good. I explained my vegetarian needs and they gave me a cheese filled crepe. They don’t usually do that, she said. I drank a large volume of simple but delicious soup for the starter. I sat next to an elderly German lady whose company I enjoyed. The Pyrenees are traditional for Englishmen, she said in her strong accent, since the last century. She told me her plans for the following day, walking to the Ilheou refuge then down to Cauterets. The next morning I decided to do the same. I arrived at Wallon about three hours after the Canadian ladies, whom I’d met again at Col du Fache. I asked if I could join them at their table, together with the German party I’d also come to know, but the staff said table arrangements couldn’t allow it. The ladies toasted me from across the room. I joined them when the meal was over and we discussed plans. They decided to go down to Cauterets, take public transport to Gavarnie, and cut short their trip. They’d walked more than I had – eight days with no rest as I recall – and were tired. It was a pleasant evening and I didn’t like walking back to my tent in the dark. The pleasant evening moves onto night however, in c cramped dormitory of strangers, and I know which I prefer.

 

Pyrenees Mountain Photography: Marcadau Valley and Wallon

Thursday November 6, 2014