Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pyrenees Day 12: Refuge de Barroude -> Parzan

Breakfast at the refuge isn't as bad as normal. They have a nice selfmade apple preserve with honey and some decent graubrot (Andrea: "Only because we haven't had decent bread in days!").

We set off into the cloud heading for Parzan at 8:45. We get very occasional glimpses of the lakes and the cliffs above. But we never get a really good look at the refuge or its setting. Too bad... the photo in the book is nice. :-(

After climbing to the ridge, Puerto de Barrosa (2534m) we see that Spain is still cloudless; yay! We descend to the valley floor next to the Rio Barrosa (about 1700m) with a strong cold wind from France at our backs fighting the Spanish sun on our faces. It's damn nice to see mountains again!

As the morning wears on, clouds cover everything above about 2500m, but that clears up later as well. The valley is quite nice and the walking is relaxing. At the bottom (1400m) we follow some instructions from Zu Fuss, fight our way through some brambles, and end up walking along a watercourse for about an hour. This is a really nice, forested alternative to walking along the busy road.

We have lunch under the trees, then head down to the road for the last leg into Parzan (1144m, 3:00). The road stretch is hot, sunny, and a bit tiring (psychically), so it's reallly nice to get a hotel room and have a long relaxing shower.

After a cool beverage at the gas station/super market/bar, we head into the market to do resupply and fight our way through the crowds of French doing liquor and cigarette shopping tourism. As we are paying for our stuff an entire tour bus load of elderly French arrive (no joke). Despite the chaos, we still ended up with most of what we needed for the next leg of the trip.

All in all it was a pretty quiet day. Almost a rest day except for the 1500m of descent and doing laundry in the hotel bathroom sink (ah, the glories of backpacking!). :-)

No comments: