HRP Day 3

The HRP / GR11 blog series

HRP day 1

HRP day 2

HRP day 3

HRP day 4

HRP day 5

HRP day 6

HRP day 7

HRP / GR11 day 8

HRP / GR11 day 9

HRP / GR11 day 10

HRP / GR11 day 11

HRP / GR11 day 12

Arrival in Gavarnie

Total miles walked: 32.4

HRP stage: 16

Location: Gave de Gavarnie – a clearing in the woods beneath the famous cirque

Today has been a much easier day on the trail. I woke up and immediately made up my mind not to climb Vignemale, despite the continuing excellent weather – I have concerns about the glacier, and it’s a serious mountain to take on so early in the trail. Plus there was Gandalf’s warning to consider.

Instead, I resumed my descent of the GR10 to arrive in Gavarnie, which is a superb little town with all the amenities a hiker could need. I stocked up on food (five mountain saucisson for 10 Euros – bargain!) and followed the queue of hikers making their way to the Cirque de Gavarnie, a stunning rock amphitheatre ringed with several 3,000m peaks. There is also a huge waterfall (the Grand Cascade) which is several hundred metres high.

After 19.00, I found a pleasant spot to camp near the river. The only problem with this pitch is that dozens of flies keep invading my tarp. I’ve taken shelter inside my bivvy bag.

Tomorrow I intend to climb the mountain of Pimene and bivouac near the col before continuing towards Parzan and Bielsa, my next resupply point.

By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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