The view here is looking down to the upper Marcadau valley on the left. Le Vignemale is on the right. In 2009 I ate and camped beside refuge Wallon which is in the Marcadau valley. I then walked down to Cauterets for supplies and walked back for a second night, setting off for Le Vignemale the next day. Two or three times since then, I’ve missed the walk from Wallon to Vignemale and wondered about it. I don’t remember it. There it is below, across those peaks.

In 2009 I’d met a couple the day before at Respomuso. They were camped beside me at Wallon. They walked back to Col de la Fache for a journey across Spain and Andorra, finishing with a few days in Barcelona. It seemed very attractive with the comforts and pleasures of a city beach break after rough living in the mountains. I’m not sure I feel the same six years later. Last year I spent a final day in Toulouse which is a pleasant city. Not because I wanted to, but because of the flight. I end up wandering aimlessly in cities with no plan or enjoyment. I did however find the Toulouse public library and enjoyed resting there browsing photography books.

I’m also exhausted in cities. It’s not easy finding a place to sit in Toulouse, apart from cafes. A few years ago I found a seat at the station. I was content just to sit, doing nothing, because of unbearable fatigue. It was the same last year at a cafe. It’s the kind of fatigue which, in bed, would lead to sleep within seconds. I tried taking a nap using my rucksack for a pillow but I was too stressed because of the impending flight and the city disturbances. A beach would be pleasant at the end of a trip. I enjoy a little beach when I visit the Rhinogs in Snowdonia. A town or city is another matter.


Grande Fache Panorama 5

Tuesday April 28, 2015