Totally losing track of the days…. and the ablity to blog. Each day thoughts (and any writing) are reduced “not another mountain..!!”.

I catch up with Boris and Philippe in Gourette who are also on a rest day. I made to right decision to not go direct to Gourette over the Hourquette d’Arre. They had a terrible day, it snowed, they took shelter in a stone hut all but freezing. A very very hard walk.

We are all having a duvet rest day in the only open hotel in town. Like all ski resorts so far, Gourette is no different. Shut up shop until the winter season.

Next day the snow clouds and rain have cleared, bright blue skies and its two cols to climb out of Gourette.

Climb out of Gourette

Its a section of road walk – magnificents views, tunnels carved into the rock and lots of cyclists (this is very definitely Tour De France country). Not generally a fan of walking on the roads but this is takes some beating. Very little traffic, no need to watch my step, head up and enjoying the scenary. A coup of kilmetres along i am back on the path, ver a ridge and then drop down to a perfectly secluded valley. A sun trap next to small babbling stream, its pack off, boots off, baguette and pate out, lie back on the grass and sunbathing for an hour or so. That is until the bells of a large flock of sheep and sheperds arrive filling the valley and distubring the peace. I have learnt to give the flocks lots of room to pass, avoiding the Patous sheep dogs. So it is up, pack on and onwards to Arrens-Marsous.

Arriving in Arrens-Marsous I find Maison Mamalet, a bed for the night, hot shower and a frendly hostess Marianne. Then off to the one tiny (and very expensive) shop to stock up for a couple of days. Fresh Baguette. More basque pate and tinned fish. Dinner with Christian and Jean Yves.