Pyrenees Trip Report - day 3

Its Thursday, and the weather just doesn't clear.  It rains into the morning, stops briefly, then starts again.  At 1pm we decide we've had enough of sitting it out, pack up our damp things and head out for the HRP.  The cloud lifts a little.  The road ahead is barred and the rivers are in spate, the last two days having ripped away the tarmac - how quickly the veneer slips!

We dutifully haul ourselves along what's left of the road and up into farmland and an ominous cloudbase

kites and kestrels hunting, to the Pont Labrenere.  Water, water, everywhere.

At the bridge, the national park declares itself.  We know we are not going to make Refuge Arlet today with such a late start, but hope to overnight near the Col de Pau.  It starts to rain again, in earnest this time.  With a sodden tent and a weeks worth of food in the packs, its heavy going up the valley, and after the second footbridge the visibility deteriorates still further.

At the Cabane de Bonaris, the plateau has turned into a floodplain and the shepherd's pigs are grumpily territorial, chasing us away.  A watery, ghostly scene, pure Stalker, we're in the zone now.

We find our way through the faerie graves and up into the hills just under the col.  Here the path peters out again and we decide discretion is the better part of valour, and stop for the night.  We choose slightly higher, sloping ground in the lee of a cliff, conscious of the sheer volume of water all around us.   The cloud closes in some more, we retreat to our tent and once again the thunder begins.  Eerie, edgy, but we are lucky - there is less rain that night, and the storm moves away rather than towards us.