Travelled : 65 miles
Visited : Pont d’Espagues, Lake de Gaube
Stay : Gedre, carpark opposite tourist information, free but no services, N 42.47.287, W 000.01.191
Expenses : 30 days at €74 per day
We wake up to the wondrous views of Col d’Aubisque. It’s cold and clear, we got the heavy doona out before going to bed and did a rapid doona change around 3 am. Not sure if we woke up because of the cold or the fifty cows who wandered through the car park around that time. It’s a bit noisy outside as the coffee machine heats up. There are people running around putting up barrier tape and generally being noisy, something that not normal in country France at 8 in the morning. It’s a film crew, shooting a commercial for a car.
We go for a walk up the hill behind the carpark before breakfast, dodging the cow paddies and take a few pictures. By the time we are making our way down a bus load of tourist pulls into the car park and we decide it’s time to say au revoir and hit the road.
We start to make our way down from Col d’Aubisque we enter a new valley, d’Arrens. The road is steep and winding. We pass numerous cyclists labouring up the mountain as we go down in second gear trying to save the brakes as much as possible. It takes us almost 20 minutes to make our way down the 9 kilometres to the valley floor. We stop briefly at the pretty village of Aucun for a Baguette and continue east until we reach Argeles-Gazost. There we turn south and follow the Gorge de’Cauterets to Pont d’Espagne.
Our plan for today to the take the chairlift to the plateau above and walk out to Lake de Gaube. Apparently formed from an ancient glacier. There is a very upmarket visitors centre funded by the exorbitant parking fees. Anyway it’s a lovely walk out and around the lake, with spectacular views of the Pic Chabarrou and the hanging walls of ice still there in autumn.
The sun is disappearing behind the mountain and getting chilli as we start walking back. We give the chairlift and gondola a miss and walk back. This adds and extra hour to the journey but it’s downhill and relatively easy going.
Back in the Hymer we head north, turning south east into the Gorge de Luz following the river Gave de Gavarnie up stream to Gedre. It’s far enough for one day and there’s free overnight parking opposite the tourist information centre. After we settle in, we walk up town to a bar for a drink. It starts to drizzle as we walk but it doesn’t matter it’s been another great day in the Pyrenees.