There are places, especially above the treeline, which are beyond the
realm of man. We must learn quickly to come correct, or should not
come at all. It is an absolute mistake to think of ourselves as the
centre of the experience, the aim can only be to tread as lightly and
quietly as possible.
Arriving in Lescun was a complicated affair. I spent an uncomfortable
few hours lost and dehydrated coming across the border from Spain in
the Aries de Anie. Coming through a cloud inversion at well past
sunset, to arrive at the source of the river that created the Valle
D'Aspe, was arriving at an ink black oasis after a madness of
limestone desert mayhem.
Yesterday a friend and I went to the summit of Pic d'Anie where this
photo was taken, a 13 hour round trip. As you move vertically up
through the Valle there are strata of farmland, cloud forest, alpine
tundra and finally rock and only rock. Each band of cloud smells of
different quantities of ions. This summit has taken me 3 years to
reach and I had tears in my eyes at the top. I bought ewes cheese from
the shepherd on the return.
Today, stage 2 begins, we head off in a few hours.