The Baysellance refuge is situated on a flat outcrop high above the Ossoue valley. I arrived here around four or five in the afternoon. It’s not an especially scenic place but it’s the highest staffed hut in the Pyrenees. I’d had a dreadful previous night and wanted some comfort. For me a hut is comfortable only if it’s not packed with strangers. That’s not comfort, it’s hell. I enjoy conversation at dinner, sunset chat outside and similar. I don’t enjoy an unwashed chap jostling my shoulder on a sleeping platform, that chap or any other, ladies too, on intimate bunk beds. I like to socialise but not sleep with strangers. The snoring, rustling, toilet visits, breathing, physical proximity puts me on edge. Then I don’t sleep. Then I feel ill. It’s distressing.

I was undecided for a few hours whether to risk a dormitory or retreat again to my tent. I decided on my tent. The ground here is hard, stony, stoic. It’s not a comfortable place. Installed in my sleeping bag however, I felt wonderfully content. I was outdoors and wouldn’t be disturbed. This view at Baysellance is across to surrounding peaks. The light and cloud made an interesting effect. In 2009 I felt some yearning to get down from the mountains, here at Baysellance. It was cold, grey, I’d not been able to wash which I don’t like. There’s something grim about this place I want to retreat from. You have these feelings, one way or another, when you have no choice as you walk.


Pyrenees Mountain Photography: Baysellance Views

Wednesday November 26, 2014