Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Monday, 12 August 2013

Sunday 11 August 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 58 - Stage 47 (part/variant) - Amélie-les-Bains to Moulin de la Palette

IDistance: 12 km (Cum: 880 km)     

Ascent: 1200 metres (Cum: 49,430 metres)
                     
Time taken: 6.0 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: sunny and hot

On another 'blue sky' day I started slowly. I'd not bothered to re-stock my lunch provisions yesterday, and the shops don't open until 9am on a Sunday. 

I like Amélie. There are some magnificent old plane trees by the old hospital.  It's a pretty town with a folk festival just now (various international performers march up and down the main street from time to time) and rather too many tourists, but it needs all the tourists it can get, so I'm not going to complain about that.  Sue and I spent our second wedding anniversary here nine years ago, and on this visit I had the pleasure of David and Jan's company on Friday, and Nathalie's yesterday.  Thanks to all of you and good luck with your future projects. Nathalie's 'HRA' idea - a high level route over the Alps from Slovenia to the Atlantic - sounds particularly interesting. 

Setting off past the Thermes du Mondony, and the sign to the Gorges du Mondony that are sadly currently closed to the public, I soon gained the shade of the trees as I rose slowly up the well graded pathway to Chapelle Santa Engracia.

Various stones beside the well signed but deserted path may once have been engraved, and perhaps they housed Stations of the Cross. The views across to Amélie displayed the Mediterranean beyond, and those to Arles, where I passed through with Peter and Uli the other day, housed the formidable profile of Pic du Canigou (pictured - top).

I admired the lovingly carved signs whilst listening to uplifting choral music drifting from the town below, much as melodic folk music had been seeping through my hotel room window until 11pm the previous two evenings. 

Restoration of the chapel was completed in 2008, and a nice job it was too. Today's view back to the chapel from the orientation point showed it in a good light under the pure dark blue sky (pictured - middle). 

There were a few folk at the chapel, but after that I saw just a handful of people. Tonight's gite is relatively quiet, so I imagine the crowds have now been left behind on Canigou. 

The path beyond the chapel was equally pleasant- a wide old trade route perhaps, with extensive views - something of a surprise given the number of trees hereabouts, but there seem to be plenty of gaps for ganders.

After a while, a thin side path led over an unnamed 981 metre summit and down to Col de Paracolls, where the GR10 path was encountered. I lunched here - lovely goats cheese and tomato from yesterday's market in Amélie. A sign indicated 70 minutes to tonight's gite, so rather than arrive really early, I chose to ascend 400 metres up to Pilon de Belmatx, a nearby 1280 metre summit. It was worth it. A great path with fine views. 

I was going to return to the col, but the ongoing ridge looked tempting, so I continued along it, turning east when I reached a hunters track down the Serre de la Dégolle. This took me some way before I eventually lost the markings and found my way steeply down through woods to the GR10 path. Fifteen minutes later I was at the Eco-Gite.

3.45 pm, and I was the first arrival of the day. It's a nice place in a sunny glade in the woods. It's pictured in the next posting as the image sizes seem to big for this one. 

It really is pretty 'Eco'.

Dinner was enjoyed with the guardians, Laurent and Katerine (probably both spelt wrong!) and with a new batch of GR10 ers - Charles and Elizabeth from Paris, and Anna-Marie and Heikel. Nearby, Aline and Gwen from Belgium - on a car camping trip - are cooking something tasty, and four lads are  also camping in the garden. 

There's no phone signal. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

1 comment:

Nallo Lady said...

Sounds a wonderful day.
The 'Eco' theme of the gite is a prominent feature of their website, http://ecogitedetape66.com/
Busy dusting in preparation for your return, but gardening is out as it's raining on and off.