Pyrenees Grand Tour Day 6 – The end of the Trail   8 comments

Alas this was our final day. Time to to make the long walk back to the car and begin the journey home. The original plan had been to cross two more passes and spend a final night in a hut before a descent to the car. The difficulty and snow cover rendered that a tough ask and we agreed that we’d just retrace our steps from the first day. I was little disappointed not to continue my planned tour but our new plan gave us chance for a final visit to the wonderful Campoplano and hopefully see some views of the Arrens Valley we’d walked up on that first day. Ample compensation we hoped.

It had clearly been raining through the night and the sky was mix of blue and threatening blacks and greys. It made for some impressive sunlight shots as we ate breakfast, packed and set off from the hut




Campoplana was just as magnificent as before and we made light work of the two stream crossings that took us back towards the short steep climb to the Col de St Martin






Near the top I actually put my waterproofs on as there seemed to be heavy storm approaching. It never amounted to anything and they were soon back in the pack. It was the only time I wore them on the entire trip 🙂


On the way up on the first day the last 30 minutes had been entirely on snow. Six days later and the reduction was dramatic. Merely patches now. The spot where I’d filled the bottles for a brew rather than being in middle of a huge snow patch was now in the middle of a boulder field.


The weather seemed to brighten immensely and as hoped we had some wonderful views of the Val D’Arrens that we’d seen nothing of on the way up. Rather than being a repeated walk it was like a brand new route and its a very fine valley and walk



The Lacs de Remoulis looked stunning under the bright sunshine




On that first day we’d walked through what seemed like a wide, flat, grassy meadow that would have been perfect for a picnic had we not been walking in dense, cold fog. You can see  it now much better in the image below


It proved to be the case and we had a long, leisurely and final mountain lunch lazing on the grass by a clear, cold, mountain stream. We made a brave attempt to eat the remaining food we had left but we made only the merest impact on our vast supplies



The walk through these meadows in the sunshine was a fitting final memory of the trip. A stunning spot that barely gets a mention in the guidebook



All that was left was the last 3 miles along the track back to the car passing the Lac de Suyen we’d seen nothing of on the way up





And that was that. Back to the car, another night in a local hotel and long drive home via Caen and the ferry to Portsmouth the next day. As a special treat for sticking with the story (and the mid-season break!) you get the bonus of some nice pictures of Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower from the ferry





A fantastic trip. Superb walking, amazing weather, stupendous views, some eventful moments and a lot of lessons learned. Great excuse to go back and do it all again 🙂

8 responses to “Pyrenees Grand Tour Day 6 – The end of the Trail

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  1. Different day, different direction, different weather and what a change! It looks absolutely idyllic 🙂


    • It was quite amazing to see it what it really looked like having walked almost the entire route in the fog the first time. It was a stunning valley but its one of the lesser known in the area and I don’t think its used all that much as route into Spain. We were lucky though. By the time we reached the car the dense fog was starting to form again (you can just see it in one of the photos)


  2. It wasn’t at all difficult to stick with the story. In fact an incredible hike from the comfort of the lounge chair, but I wish it were otherwise. I love how this final day panned out for you. Magic views.
    A year today saw myself and friends arriving in St Bees for the start of our C2C adventure. Your photos have reawakened my yearnings for another similar adventure.


    • Thanks Helen, glad you enjoyed the write ups and well pleased that its brought back some of your own great memories and started your yearnings 🙂
      I need to catch up on your blog, I see there are lots of posts I’ve missed


  3. I will have to add the Pyrenees to my bucket list! What a fantastic trip!


  4. “We made a brave attempt to eat the remaining food we had left but we made only the merest impact on our vast supplies”.
    You carry too much food – it’s what I’ve always said; I feel vindicated. I bet there were pounds of onions and at least one cucumber still left. Three tubes of primula, a dozen stale bread rolls. Swans, suckling pig, Simnel cake. I’ve been there!
    I was going to say that it all looked idyllic, but Chrissie beat me to it.


    • I’ve carried too much since the infamous previous Pyrenees trip when we ran out. Rationing hazelnuts one by one when you’re starving is not a happy place to be. We did return with several bags of unopened snacks and biscuits though. Wasn’t sure what the hut food would be like but it was excellent and plentiful.
      A fantastic last day to finish off


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