Etang de Lanoux


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July 15th 2009
Published: July 15th 2009
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The best things in life don’t come on a plate. Or précuit, as the French have it. So we made sure that yesterday we did all we could to earn our wonderful day out.

A friend here in Laroque works for EDF, and so has access to their mountain refuge high up in the Pyrenees Orientales for any friends and family he might like to take there. He’s been planning a summer break up there for the children and teenagers who are members of our local MJC- youth centre: this is the week when it's happening.

Teenagers need to be catered for. He reckoned that about 150 meals worth of food needed to be transported up the mountain to see the holiday through, and he didn’t think the young people would be able to manage it all. But he thought he knew a few people who could. He thought of us, besides some other willing packhorses

On Monday we collected the rations we’d be carrying. On Tuesday at 5.00 a.m. we got up, with the rain pouring outside, to get on the road so we could begin our walk just after 8.00, and avoid the heat that’s been
Here be marmots...Here be marmots...Here be marmots...

...we stood for ages watching 3 of them feeding. You'll just have to believe me, I couldn't get a picture of them
the pattern over the last week or so.

Is it all beginning to sound a bit punitive? Well, it wasn’t. Not at all. Although it continued to rain in Laroque, over near the Etang de Lanoux the sun shone all day, the scenery was wild and magnificent, the company was fun, and in my case at least, the food parcel wasn’t too heavy. The pictures tell the story.



Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


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There in the distance is the refugeThere in the distance is the refuge
There in the distance is the refuge

Once, it had workers there all summer. There was a cable car for them to get to work, even a canteen on site. No need now the dam is built
One of the dormitoriesOne of the dormitories
One of the dormitories

Do teenagers snore? The beds are comfortable apparently, but perhaps a little 'intime'
This was the viper we found...This was the viper we found...
This was the viper we found...

...outside the refuge door. We were quite sorry when he vanished
So many flowers...So many flowers...
So many flowers...

... I didn't get a picture of the reglisse, the liquorice plant. It's the root we use apparently
Not thyme apparently....Not thyme apparently....
Not thyme apparently....

... but a pretty close cousin
After the obligatory long lazy lunch....After the obligatory long lazy lunch....
After the obligatory long lazy lunch....

... another stiff climb up to the reservoir, 2213 metres high. We walked along this stream for part of the way. It was a day of streams, sometimes as many as 3 flowing parallel to each other, and all to be crossed or walked along
And here's the lake at last...And here's the lake at last...
And here's the lake at last...

...nearly up at the tree line, and still odd patches of snow around
The barrage holding the lake in placeThe barrage holding the lake in place
The barrage holding the lake in place

To get an idea of the scale, look for the people leaning over at the top
I loved the rock formations...I loved the rock formations...
I loved the rock formations...

..slate in reds, blacks and even ochre crumpled into strange geometric shapes
On our way home in the car....On our way home in the car....
On our way home in the car....

...we passed quite suddenly from sunshine into the cloud, and then the rain and gloom we had left behind


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