Saturday is our first completely clear day and the morning light is amazing. More amazing than the photo, but it gives an idea.
Its supposed to be a short jaunt down to the border post of Somport, but it took us ages, all day in fact. We're late to leave camp, then a lovely little bimble steeply up though woodland, an even steeper boulder strewn path, to Ibon d'Astonis, which is a busy weekend jaunt for many from both sides of the border, accessed from a car park below.
Interesting to see the water level down around 1m or more from the watermark, despite 3 days of rain. Pipes draining on the French side, a river flowing on the Spanish, I wonder about the politics of eau and agua here. There is no shortage of water in these mountains, but there is no shortage of people, governments, and corporations either.
Later, more beautiful forests and incredible volcanic rock that looks frozen, mid-melt. T is tired today, and its very hot, more complex underfoot, and she takes a small tumble, grazing her arm. Its not serious, but her load is still too much, and we reallocate weight to give her a break. Instances like this remind me of the health and safety reasons for lightening up in the pack department, which arguably some lightweight evangelists don't mention enough. Anyway, back to the crazy walnut whip mountain.
After the extra scree dislodged by all that rain, into the river at Pas d'Aspe, we head out to more open, alpine country, dotted with conifer and spruce, above the mountain butchery of Candanchu. Ski resorts for me, are play pens for spoilt yuppies - what a spoilsport I am, eh! Ridiculous, open wounds, in my ideal world would all be closed immediately - skiers should ski in open country and not in these man made theme parks designed for lazy, spoon fed babies. It will happen soon enough, most are now using snow machines for the winter, as its no longer cold enough to sustain this kind of vandalism effectively. If you can't stand the heat....
Over to Col de Somport and the border outpost, I see a ladder snake basking on the path, then we snag 2 bunks in a 4 room dorm at the very hospitable auberge Aysa, a shower, a long beery chat about what the mountains do to our brains, and dine on salad and 'yellow food' (we've eaten alot in Spain as fishandchipetarians - this time, its squid and chips). A sleepless night for us both, despite our room-mates being a lovely pair.