Not much walking today for Sue and me - about 4km, though Graham was despatched up Pic de Céciré (2403 metres) by way of altitude training.
Sue enjoyed her last day in Luchon by going swimming this morning and visiting the thermal baths (a series of long hot tunnels full of sulphurous vapours that cure all ills) this afternoon. She has a day off in Toulouse tomorrow before Jet2ing back to work on Wednesday.
She's pictured above at Col de la Coume de Bourg, on Saturday, looking at the final barrier to our successful completion of 'Phase 1' of this two month trip. The cornice was of course safely negotiated. Graham will have been there today on his own mini adventure.
The second image is the last you'll see of me with Sue for a while, as veteran TGO Challenger, Graham - with 22 Challenges to his name, has chosen to accompany me on the next stage of this mission to wear my feet down to the bone.
Bye bye Sue! (Sob)
The bottom image shows Paul Lucia's excellent Cicerone guide for GR10. This is not our 'bible' as we have never intended to follow GR10 precisely, but it has been a valuable aid to the 23 stages completed so far, and I have based the daily headings on Paul's stage numbers in case any readers want to relate our own trip to the stages in the guide book. The book has a little too much by way of detailed directions on how to follow the well waymarked path for my liking, and not enough peripheral information on points and places of interest, but I can see the rationale behind its structure. Indeed, some readers may well benefit from the detailed directions, especially in misty weather.
Actually, apart from the three days from Lescun to Gourette, we have stayed pretty close to the GR10 route and its attendant facilities (gites etc).
As Graham and I have tents, we also have greater flexibility, so we'll be straying from GR10 by staying high at times, but also by diverting lower down valleys to re-supply and to seek out the odd restaurant. The weather will also influence our itinerary. It seems set fair at present, subject to afternoon storms (mountain weather).
Since we'll be camping for much of the time, we'll have to move into a 'power saving' mode, so these entries may be shorter and responses to the few comments that are made may be rarer than the comments themselves, though I'll always agree that 'the world is always a better place in the warm afterglow of an Ashes victory!' (thanks Jules)
The remote nature of the area we are moving in to may delay some reports due to the lack of a phone signal.
Other GR10 ers:
We seem to have lost all except Pierre and Yolaine, who turned up here today. They took a longer, higher route and will rest here before continuing. They joined us tonight for beers, and an excellent meal at the Hotel of Two Countries.
Only a few things have broken, all as a result of old age or incidents beyond their control. My sleeping bag (vandalised), my Kindle (broken screen - I may have sat on it), trousers (ripped backside), t-shirt (yuk), Pacerpole tip (broken). Some stuff such as thick gloves and over-mitts may not now be needed so will be sent home with Sue.
Sue's kit has fared better. Had she been continuing from here she would have replaced her Bridgedale socks. Miraculously, her new Scarpa boots haven't been a problem, and her achilles tendon problem has been (just about) contained.
My knee problems have also diminished. They have behaved quite reasonably after the first few days.
Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary