Col de Mulets

After the stresses of the previous stage, and a freezing cold night at
Oulette de Gaube, our luck may be changing today. The col de Mulets
is a wild and edgy place flanked by high crags and vast swathes of
scree and was perhaps my favourite of the places we visited last year.
It was wonderful to see my old friend again, this time coming in the
opposite direction. From the col, Tim, Tanya and I walked down the
Valle de Ara towards Odessa in improving weather. Swifts dived all
around in fiercely cold wind and marmots the size of badgers ignored
us wilfully. All the while the Rio Ara grew stronger and began to cut
a gorge in solid rock as we followed it's course from under the shadow
of Vignemale. Later, we enter more manicured pasture and then follow
the GR11 through ancient silver birch forest, often stopping in our
tracks in the gloaming. This is canyon country. This is a little
piece of heaven.