Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wednesday 7 August 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 54 - Stages 42 to 44 variant (3) - Refugi Ulldeter to Refuge de Mariailles

Distance: 21 km (Cum: 818 km)     

Ascent: 620 metres (Cum: 46,760 metres)
                     
Time taken: 7.25 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: high cloud and some light rain at first, turning to sunny periods

Despite the high cloud, today's weather was much better than on the last occasion I was here, with Sue nine years ago. I recall spending much of that day in a cloud. 

Today both cloud and rain just about held off, and despite the predictions of high temperatures as we approach the coast, they have actually struggled to get much above 20°C over the past couple of days, with the cool wind from Spain causing fleeces to be donned for the first time in weeks. We had got used to a steady 25 to 30°C.

After descending from the refuge we quickly rose back up to a col at 2384 metres, having already completed most of the day's ascent.  We then spent several hours at around 2200 metres, heading relentlessly towards the Canigou massif. 'We' comprised an advance party - Peter and Uli, a group of four French, and two gents I haven't got to know. Plus me. Natalie (last seen outside El Serrat) comprised an advance advance party, having stayed at a cabane on Pla Guillem last night. 

Looking back to yesterday's ridge (pictured top), it looked as if Kevan and John would have a reasonable day for their march to Nuria. You may think it's blue sky, but in fact it was dark grey!

The middle picture is for Sue, who will remember the location where we brewed up in a cloud. I did the same today, in rather more intermittent cloud. The last tea bag from Luchon was duly expended and now I have half a gas cylinder to give away. 

The bottom picture shows a more representative view from today, with cloud bimbling up and down the valleys, and at times engulfing Canigou itself.

Encountered en route were several shepherds cabins, with roofs varying from stone to grass to metal; numerous large birds of prey as well as Swifts and Wheatears; and lots of horses and cattle. 

I arrived at the Refuge before 3pm, with plenty of time to get sorted out and shower before a big influx of what looked like Tour Aventure clients, judging by their huge kit bags.

I've looked at tonight's menu, which is quite interesting. The nettle soup will be accompanied by a side dish of fried grasshoppers (I was sad not to be able to cook this dish the other night, when I was foiled by having run out of lard - I suppose, on reflection, I could have used chocolate). Ceps have apparently been collected and will be transformed into an omelette using vultures' eggs (the vultures are a pest hereabouts and this is considered a humane form of culling them). The goat has almost been milked to death for the goats cheese soufflé, and the even more shocked chicken will be providing some tasty nuggets. It's bilberry tart for dessert, of course. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

4 comments:

Nallo Lady said...

I do remember the bench, and recall we were in cloud for a long spell.
Hope you like homemade rhubarb and ginger jam - nine jars should last a while on our toast! And there was some left over to freeze for a autumn crumble! Off to work for a rest tomorrow.

Alan R said...

Love the menu. Running out of lard is no excuse. Use some tractor oil for deep frying. Oh and don’t forget the dandelion and nasturtium for the salad.
Right i’m off to make some toast. Now where did i put that Rhubarb and Ginger jam?

Anonymous said...

oups >>... "some fried grasshoppers" ?!
and your sentence on this very particular futur menu ??????
xxx
Chantal

Phreerunner said...

Alan, there are no tractors. If there were, you would be the first to know! And I got distracted whilst copying the menu and inadvertently missed the dandelion and burdock.
Chantal - the meal was delicious. The fried grssshoppers tasted a bit like crispy seaweed with a sort of ... insecty ... flsvour.
Sue - feel free to invite Alsn R round for a jammy dodger...