Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Saturday 3 August 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 50 - Stage 39/40 (part) - Mérens-les-Vals to a small lake to the west of Coll de Coma d'Anyell (2340 metres)

Distance: 13 km (Cum: 735 km)     

Ascent: 1500 metres (Cum: 43,310 metres)
                     
Time taken: 5.75 hrs including 1.25 hrs stops                                     

Weather: cloudy then sunny with sharp showers. Continuing hot

Wow! 50 days. And I'm still enjoying it despite being on my own. I've found a fantastic wild camp location here at 2340 metres after a really good walk today. 

Last night's meal at gite d'etape du Nabre was excellent. Aperitif, then a vast mixed salad, shepherd's pie, cheese, trifle and coffee. Just as well there was a lot as I was sitting next to a glutton. Luckily I had two nice Catalonians from Ibiza opposite me, on a seven day walking route south to north from Porta. They spoke even less French than me (is that possible?) so we got on fine.  That's despite being blanked by Macho Man the glutton, who was holding fort with what I imagine were stories in adulation of his 30 day GR10 crossing. Perhaps I'm being unfair, he did answer when spoken to and nudged, and he replied in perfectly fluent English, in as few words as possible, before turning back to his preferred audience and helping himself to more food. He left at 6am this morning, thankfully considerately quietly, off to inflict his Macho image on another unsuspecting group tonight.

(Perhaps that's how I was with Ron, earlier on the trip - I wonder where he is now - what goes round comes round, as they say.)

Breakfast was a much more pleasant affair, largely because Pierre and Yolaine were present. They were absent last night, having completed their assignment and had dinner in Ax with Pierre's parents. It was a fittingly jolly occasion (breakfast, and I'm sure their dinner was likewise).  We parted company for good after breakfast as P&Y are having a day off and will be a day behind me from now on. The top picture is the last you'll see of them on this trip, though we did promise to meet again. 

"Perhaps on that walk across Scotland", suggested Pierre, a possible victim of my TGO Challenge sales pitch several weeks earlier! 

Despite the good forecast, it was cloudy this morning. Trouser legs were zipped on as horse flies were expected (but apparently they will disappear after today). In the event, I didn't see any, so the legs soon came off. It was all rather irrelevant when the rain started, as the flies would have found exposed skin hard to come by. 

The rain stopped and I passed a hobo like old man I'd seen yesterday, washing in the river.

A little string of people coming down from Refuge des Bésines politely gave way, depriving me of the chance of a short break. But I was going well, so no worries. 

I reached Porteille des Bésines in rain, but the waterproofs were soon off again for the stroll down to the refuge. A coke and a cheese omelette went down well. 

With rain again threatening, I walked for another hour up to this delightful spot, arriving at 2pm.  So it's another half day!

The rain came just as I had the tent up, so I spent a while inside, but most of the afternoon has been spent lounging around in sunshine in these lovely surroundings. 

There have been fewer flowers today, perhaps because of a change in the type of rock, which now supports pine trees to a higher level, and there's lots of Alpenrose and other shrubbery. As well as grasshoppers and ants. 

Numerous people have been past whilst I've been here, mostly heading back to the Bésines refuge. I suppose it is the weekend, and a popular area.

The only downside of this camping spot is the number of resident ants, but now it has cooled down a bit (7pm) and dinner has been served (soup, pasta, salmon, fresh tomato, with a chocolate 'melt' dessert), it's very cosy in the tent with the midge net up. 

So with Pierre and Yolaine now behind me, I think I've lost all the rest of the Jeandel 14. Some have gone home, some, like Roland and Marie, are still 'on the road', Gilles was due to finish his HRP trip yesterday - not that far behind Simon - and of course we know where P&Y are. (At this moment they are enjoying a lavish dinner in Ax with Pierre's parents.) But there's no signal here, so by the time you read this that moment will have passed!

That leaves a couple of good friends not mentioned, but more of them later, I hope. 

Oh, I nearly forgot to report back on P&Y's incredibly important assignment.  They had been despatched to Aulus to investigate the blue tractor. Returning with photos of side plates, end plates, front plates and just about any other plate you can think of, their research reveals the following:

'Super 7' - on the bodywork
'Made in France' - unclear whether it's the whole or part of the tractor, and the same applies to
'Roto Diesel'
'Paris Rhone'
'Kuhn'
Could it be a Kuhn Super 7?

The photos are available (tractor geeks only)

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello-coucou, Martin !
no comment from us since tuesday 30... but present every evening to have a look on your stories (and desapointed when nothing) :

Today, the one speaking of your neighbour "Gloutton" is very funny ! we seem to be sitting next to him, watching him with a bewildered air...

Then you say it's the last time you meet Y+P on this adventure : Another best idea that waiting any possible future review crossing Scotland >> with Sue of course, come here in La Clusaz, where you'll find us 4 = J+Ch+Y+P, once during the next winter or summer seasons : that would be fantastic! You should think seriously of it.

It's kind of you to walk one day ahead Y+P and make a nice track on the way, because after the gargantuan meals with the others nice parents, may be it'll will be hard to hang on the GR10....

All the best,
xxx
Chantal (and Joel)

Dot said...

Sounds like a good Saturday. Have the ants replaced horse flies and mosquitoes?! Hope the weather stays good and the final leg of the 'walk' goes smoothly. We are off to Wales on the 8th. See you when you come home. R & C say hi.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks for those comments.
We will try to take up your offer, Chantal. Meanwhile, if P&Y follow my footprints too closely, they may finish up in Spain!
It was sad to leave them. My journey is poorer without them around.

Alan R said...

hi Martin,
I did reply on your original post re the old blue tractor. It had me going for a while but it is a Renault. Definite.
Another superb campsite.

Phreerunner said...

Yes Alan, a cracking campsite. The ants were only a minor inconvenience.
I thought the tractor had you foxed, hence sending P&Y to do further research. They have lots of pictures if you want them. ..