I finished my Pyrenees walk at Gavarnie. I’ve done that twice before, and also started a trip at Gavarnie. It’s a strange and uncomfortable place. Restaurant food is ridiculously expensive and most of them are closed at the end of August. Very few people are around. A group of Australians were at the camp site whom I’d seen two days previously. The young lady of the pack arrived at Baysellance while I sat beside my tent. She was joking, laughing, perky, and I wondered at her pleasant energy. It was the same at Gavarnie and again at Pierfitte. Laughing, playing target games with stones as we waited. They left Gavarnie on the same coach, getting the same connection. They’d been walking the HRP and decided to finish and take a trip to Berlin. No point in doing it if you’re suffering, one of her friends said. I agreed.

I understand the attraction of wanting to walk the entire HRP, or GR11 or GR10. If you do it however, you will cross areas you wouldn’t choose to visit otherwise. I prefer a connoisseur approach. I went for a walk to the famous Cirque and noted how difficult it is to identify the rocky climb which takes you up to refuge Sarradets. I wasted thirty minutes when I went there in 2009 going further into the area then coming back. From a distance it looks impossible. This shot is nothing special. The mountain drama was over. I switched to another mode of photography, conscious of doing so, which is more casual. I liked the trees and the effect of the light. It would be a good place for wild camping, not much different to the camp site except for the showers. After a few days in the mountains, domestic comforts become luxuries.

 

Pyrenees Mountains: Gavarnie Forest

Thursday December 4, 2014