The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 22 July 2016

Day 11 - The first 2 hours - After Col de Finestres to Refuge Ruhle

Friday 22 July
Absolutely miserable weather

It's 9.50am and we are very happy indeed to be sitting inside Refuge Ruhle whilst hail the size of peas hammers on the roof and thunders rumbles around.

We woke in the cloud this morning with the accompanying light mizzle, but as the forecast thunder wasn't yet in evidence, we had the quickest of breakfasts, skipped our usual cup of tea, and made haste.

We had no sooner donned our freebie flimsy disposable ponchos (given to us by Macmillan Cancer Support in 2008, at which time we dismissed them as not being a useful piece of backpacking gear) than it started to rain in earnest. We saw nothing as we walked the ridge which is apparently one of the highlights of this route. In fact, even without visibility we could appreciate that the path itself is a delight and put the ridge on our list of places to which we must return in good weather.

Much to my approval, the first rumble of thunder held off until we had shucked all of our wet stuff outside the refuge at half past nine. At least we don't feel too daft being out in this weather - the refuge is full of men in tights, taking part in a trans-Pyrenees event. Flimsy disposable ponchos are also much in evidence.

Within ten minutes of our arrival, an immense sound was heard on the roof. I'm sure we heard the Spanish and the French for "I'm not going out in that!" from the multi-national collection of runners, as torrential rain turned to torrential hail.

We do have a couple of climbs ahead of us as we leave here, but even as a thunder-phobic (not really true -I have no problem with storms as long as I'm not in an exposed spot at the time) I'm quite relaxed - we will only be on a summit for a matter of minutes.

(Just talked to a Spanish participant in the race. They have a total of 400 hours to cross the Pyrenees from Banyuls to Hendaye. By my reckoning that's a maximum of 16.5 days.)

The story of Day 2 will be continued...

The only photo taken this morning

1 comment:

  1. You are back on my route, as I expected. Heading for the library room in Merens?...