Eaux-Bonnes (11/09)- strange town. Very structured, past its hey day and again very empty. One hotel open with a severe woman serving a bunch of local tourists a very formal dinner. Although the hotel has plenty of rooms, she was upset that I had not booked in advance.
Beost – (12/09)
Estaing – (14/09)
Cauterets (15/09)- Lovely town, I find myself sharing a dorm with three other hikers going in the opposite direction. First that has signs of life in a while. Excellent meal in the Hotel London by the riverside. Stock up on supplies in the local supermarket.
Luz-Saint-Saveur – From Luz-Saint-Saveur (a proper town, with a large choice of restaurants and open shops) I head up the valley towards Bareges. This is the start of the run that is the highest point of the Tour de France – the Col de Tourmalet.
La Ferme Saint Justin Creperie – 2 nights, feet up, sun out relaxing and chatting with the local. Crepes and Jean-Yves.
Cabane Aygues Cluses (at Lac de Coueyla-Gran) Sama, another solo female walker, skinny dipping lake, fire in the Cabane. Chatting late, eating chocolate, swapping stories Perfect night.
Hotel Oredon – not so perfect. Crap food. Closing
Saint-Lary-Soulan – and a decision to switch routes to lower altitudes (bus stop Heches and the GR78). Immediate improvement, more civilisation.
St-Bertrand-des-Comminges (Gîte ” Le Cylce des Saisons”) fence climbing apple orchards, a day wandering through the forest (chain saw guy). Kids rock climbing.
Ore – everywhere closed. No shops. Nothing to eat. No-one home. Association A2MAINS (a low point!)
Juzet-d’Izaut – Gite d’etape chez MÉMÉ. Fabulous food the one and only restaturant open for an hour in town. Decision to head to Toulouse! This is the only option for local transport if i continue it will be several days before I cross a bus route again.
Toulouse – a couple of days sightseeing, shopping, relaxing.
To sum up the GR10... tough. Lots of ups and downs, defintely more ups I thought! Whilst there was lots of excellent walking, I started too late in the season, The weather was mostly good, but everything was closing up or already shut. Added to the French culture of restaturants never serving food outside of specific meal times, it made getting food problematic. A month eariler or even two, with more places open would have made for a very different trip.