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]

Saturday 25 July 2015

Day 14 - Cauterets to Luz St Sauveur

Saturday 25 July

After a run of consecutive hard days last week, we're having a couple of half days this weekend, having arrived at our destinations for the last two days just after lunch.

There's not much to be said about today's walk as finally our lucky streak with the daytime weather (which lasted 14 days and 17 stages (per the Cicerone guide)) broke. Within half an hour of leaving Cauterets and before breaking the 1000m of altitude, we were in heavily mizzling cloud with very little visibility.

We lasted an hour and a half before breaking out the jackets (it was comparatively cold today at just 15 degrees in the valley but quite nice for walking until we got over 1500m when it got a bit nippy).

It wasn't until we got over the col (1950m) and descended back down to 1500m that we dropped back under the cloud and could see some surroundings. They weren't anything special (perfectly pleasant but nowt wow-worthy).

Having lunch in the watery village of Grust, overlooking our destination we couldn't believe that we were still 2 hours away; it just didn't look that far. A look at the map revealed that the GR10 takes a roundabout route. We didn't; we shortcut by taking a footpath from the village of Sazos down to Sassis, before taking a short road walk into town. It does mean that we missed Pont Napoleon, which is apparently a sight worth seeing, but I can live with the omission.

Since arriving in this valley the day has hotted up and having finally had the sense to download the Meteo France app I now know that we should be back to good weather for the next few days.

In other news:
1) the new bra is fabulous!
2) having now lost the extra pounds I put on before this trip I've decided that I need to eat more. You'd not believe how much I consumed even before lunch today - it helps that shops are plentiful for this next stretch.
3) For this trip Mick is wearing Brooks Cascadias on his feet, same as he's worn for every big walk since the start of 2012, except that the design keeps being tweaked so each of his four pairs has been slightly different. The previous pairs have happily done 800 miles each. His new pair for this trip have holed in the same place on each side of each shoe (right on the crease point) after just 200 miles. He's understandably annoyed! A new pair of shoes will be in order soon.


  1. It is a pity about the shoes. Have the shoe people not heard the old maxim, 'if it aint broke don't fix it'? Have you sorted the leaks on the Rainbow? Odd, my older model did the same. The whole bathtub floor was awash.

    1. I think the shoe people work on the basis of 'change it and people will buy the latest version'. Grrrrr.

      Rita Rainbow didn't leak again after I'd daubed seam seal on the relevant bits of seam (although we didn't have any sustained torrential rain for the rest of the trip to give it a proper test). Based on the drips we received on the final morning as we started moving around and packing away, I am now wondering whether the main drips received on the night of the storm were actually condensation rather than leaks.

  2. I've posted a couple of comments further back that seem to have disappeared.

  3. Let Brooke's know as well as the shop. Email them while you are on the walk. I think they should be replaced but you know all that. Brooke's are usually excellent.

    1. I hope they prove to have good customer service, as 200 miles out of a £90 pair of shoes really isn't acceptable. I shall report back in due course.