Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wednesday 10 July 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 26 - Stage 19/20 - Chalet-Hôtel Orédon to Saint Lary Soulan

Distance: 21 km (Cum: 385 km)      

Ascent: 780 metres (Cum: 20,700 metres)
                     
Time taken: 7.5 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: sunny periods with threatening cloud that came to nought

Christof was an excellent host at Orédon. It's a good place to visit. Last year he completed the Tourmalet stage of the Tour de France at an average speed of 28 kph. Fit guy!

The 350 metre climb back up to GR10, through lovely woodland, didn't take long. For the second day running the smell of pine assaulted our nostrils. 

Sue is pictured at Col d'Estoudou, with the Néouvielle behind her. 

Then it was down to Lac de l'Oule, where there was no need to visit the Refuge that is being rebuilt, so we turned left to the inflow of the reservoir. The lake was full, so the huge amounts of water draining into it must have been entering a hydro pipe. Strangely there were no 'no swimming' warnings. Try that at your peril!

Our first specimens of Sempervivium of the trip were spotted here. 

A brisk ascent past the torrent's collapsed walls and a concerned salamander, was followed by a superb and well visited belvedere path to Col de Portet (2215 metres).

Here cows languished in the heat, and we stopped for lunch high above our 1400 metre descent to Vielle-Aure.

Eagles soared and lesser birds of prey hovered, whilst snow finches bathed in a stream below us. A chatty bird that wasn't either a Stonechat or a Wheatear kept his beady eye on us.

The air had lost its clarity today. Yesterday's clearly defined peaks are today's ill defined ridges stretching into the distance. 

Sheep clustered together with their heads down in order to avoid what few brain cells they have from frying, and cows seemed to be trying to bury themselves in mud. A muck spreader slowly meandered down the access road, watering it?!

A long, open ridge with a vast zone of Great Yellow Gentians that were just about to flower, was the precursor to a lovely woodland descent to the village of Vielle-Aure.

Since I'd managed to book a hotel in Saint-Lary-Soulan, we had an extra couple of km at the end of the day, but we finished soon after 4pm and were able to admire Chris Froome cementing his lead in the Tour de France by way of a successful time trial. 

It's a good hotel with very fluffy towels and a nice adjacent village with good pizzerias. 

So everyone is happy. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

3 comments:

Nightbird said...

You just can't beat a fluffy towel - especially if there is a shower to go with it ... you do know what a shower is don't you?!
Hope you managed to fix your kindle by the way.

Phreerunner said...

Yes yes, the roughty "what's a shower?" part of the trip doesn't start until next week. We have towels tonight as well. But it's a bit too high here for soap, which is maybe the first thing you'd expect at a place called Germ!
The Kindle is dead. Something inside the screen seems to have broken in half...
Never mind, Sue's Kindle still works, and my broken one is one thing less to carry after Luchon.

Nightbird said...

you could always get Notchy to post you some 'Givenchy Gentleman' shower gel, if that's allowed in Germ!