Early morning on the border – Pic de les Salines   4 comments

Deal or no Deal. It was time to visit the supermarket to get the shopping in. I traded this unenviable holiday task for a chance to go for a solo walk. Plan was to head out early, complete the walk before the day got too hot, do the shopping and be back at the house for lunch and a lazy afternoon by the pool. Up before 6am and walking by 7am in the first of daylight as the sun came up. Plan sorted.

Pic de les Salines

The map showed a ridge on the frontier between France and Spain above the town of Ceret, up at around 1400m. The high-point is the Roc de France but its crowned by a rather ugly TV mast so I picked the nearby Pic de les Salines. Main advantage was being able to park up at 1000m at the Col de Fontfreda leaving a short climb to the summit. As I set off the sun was just peeking over the horizon and I had the entire route to myself.

Pic de les Salines

I’m a lazy git by nature and early starts are not big in my repertoire but when you do make the effort there is nothing better than watching the sun come up and strolling through a broad-leafed sun-dappled forest at dawn. The path was easy to follow and for France relatively clear of overgrowth!

Pic de les Salines

As I climbed the trees thinned revealing glimpses of the mountains of the Canigou massif, the coastal Alberes mountains and the northern hills of Spain across the Costa Brava.

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

I was on the summit in little over an hour and had the place to myself. The plan to be out before it got too hot backfired a little as it was actually pretty cool on the summit. I wandered about taking in the clear morning views, snapping photos and feeling pretty damn fine if a little chilly. The views from up here were superb. The Med on one side and the Pyrenees on the other

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

I found a sheltered rock and sat down for an hours contemplative reflection with a cuppa and some fresh croissants and fruit bought from the bakery that morning. Say what you like about the French but boy do they know how to bake bread and pastries.

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

I toyed with idea of trying to pick a route to the Roc de France but there wasn’t a path marked up from the col (in France you take your chances as it is, with marked paths. I could have made a round trip from the col but that would have meant a return through dark sunless forests, ideal at the end of a hot day but in the warm morning I just chose to replace my steps back down the ridge to my car.

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

Pic de les Salines

There were now several people on their way up so I felt pretty smug at my decision for an early start and in getting a deserted summit stay. I was back at the car by 10am my fix for walking satisfied

Pic de les Salines

The shopping? I didn’t take any photos figuring that no-one who reads my blog would be much interested but I can say that the cooked chicken and roast potatoes for lunch was splendid 🙂

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4 responses to “Early morning on the border – Pic de les Salines

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  1. Superb photos of a lovely area – especially the one where it looks like you’re wearing a skirt…..

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  2. Another set of great photos. What camera do you use?

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    • Thanks Mark. These photos (and all my shots from the last couple of years) are taken with a Panasonic DMC FT3. It’s a waterproof camera that takes pretty decent snaps. Very handy when out walking as I can attach to my rucksack without fear of it getting wet and take photos without having to faff about. I have just bought myself a DSLR as well as I was keen to be a bit more creative. Photos to follow if I ever catch up with the blog!

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