Pyrenees Trip Report - day 13

I lay awake with the tent open and mp3s playing well into the night, a bit overcome with it all.  The Barrage d'Ossoue to Gavarnie is the end of the road for us, but the morning light greeted our last morning away from civilisation well.

We had a late-ish start, reluctant to leave.  It takes a little longer than expected, hot and humid again up, around and finally down into Gavarnie.

Its alpine grazing country, reminds me alot of the Picos de Europa - pasture, lowland, yet more flowers and new varieties, always.

We get in and go to the supermarket, then to a cafe for yellow food (omelette and chips, beer) to celebrate the completion of our walk.  I am shocked by the hot water that comes from the bathroom tap - it seems absurdly luxurious.  Within half an hour of sitting down the clouds come in and the rain starts.

Some French criticise Gavarnie for its tackiness, but its nothing by comparison to a British sea side resort, or even some of the lake district's fleshpots.  We wonder aimlessly in the tat-shops for a little while.  Marmot toys bleeping at us as we enter and leave remind us that the economy is entirely dependent on tourism, leaving little else.

The campsite 'La Bergerie' was described by the Swiss couple (who we saw again here) as 'simple', but they have obviously never camped in the UK!  Its very well appointed, but staffed by a hugely stressed and unfriendly woman.  Struck me as a 'great escape' gone wrong, as she plainly wasn't able to deal with the amount of work involved, and was rude for our entire visit.  A fellow french camper described her as 'un corpse' which may have gained something in the translation - harsh but true.  The rules and regulations of a campsite rankle with us after a week or more of free-camping, and we'll have to try and avoid using it again if we go back, which will be tricky because its the perfect situation for accessing the cirque and the walking beyond.

We socialise a little over dinner with 2 girls from Holland, cooking under the shelter as the rain turns persistent and then into a full blown storm, lasting about 3 hours - we are down from the tops just in time!  Plans for Tallion and the Breche de Roland tomorrow may be canned by the weather.  We make a run for the tent and hope it doesn't leak too much in the night.