Gavarnie to Cabane d’Aguillous
I liked where we stayed in Gavarnie. It had just what I needed. It also had a pretty good breakfast especially for France. Often breakfast is toast, butter, jam and coffee. We had that and more…. home made yogurt, fruit, croissants, nutella, cheese, salami, cake, dried fruit, cereal and more. It was worth delaying our departure for.
We left town at 8 am and almost immediately started climbing. Of course. The first stop was Refuge des Espuguettes with gorgeous views of the Cirque of Gavarnie and the Breche de Roland, a notch in the rock wall of the cirque. The refuge was closed for cleaning so we couldn’t go inside and weren’t tempted to stop for more coffee.
Then it was up to the pass, Horquette d’Alene. We met 2 Dutch men doing just this section of the HRP. They speak great English and are really nice.
We descended into the Vallee d’Estaube where we stopped to eat lunch with the 2 Dutch guys. They gave us a waffle filled with maple syrup that you can only get in Holland. It was delicious. I could eat 10 of these every day.
It started raining after that but only lasted 5 minutes. May that luck continue.
Lac des Gloriettes is a dammed lake and was a beautiful shade of turquoise.
Then it was a couple mile paved road walk into Heas. There is an Alberge there that we planned to get dinner. But we got there at 3. Lunch closed at 2:15 and dinner wasn’t until 7:30. They were serving crepes so we each got a couple of those. We are still learning but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to predict when I can buy food. Except dinner is late!
The guidebook has Heas as the end of the day. It’s short at 6 something hours. Tomorrow is 10 hours and it might rain in the afternoon. So we decided to cut into tomorrow’s miles today. The guidebook is designed around being able to sleep inside a building every night. If you have a tent you can obviously stop where ever you can set it up.
So we walked 2.5 hours uphill. We passed the Cabane de l’Aguila which had 4 people including the 2 dutch guys we had lunch with. Cabanes are shepherd’s huts that some hikers like to sleep in.
We stopped at Cabane d’Aguillous at 2330 meters. It has a nice cold water source coming right out of the ground just downhill from the cabane. We are tenting outside with a view back to Vignemale. We picked view over wind protection. Hopefully that won’t be a mistake. We can always retreat into the empty cabane. It’s pretty clean except for the old mattresses. I still haven’t seen one I’d like to sleep in. A big storm could change that.
This might be my favorite campsite. Flat, view, late sun and enough time to enjoy it. It could be a great sunset tonight but I can’t stay awake.