Friday, October 29, 2010

Megalithic Art and a Mouflon!

In late October, I revisited a favourite valley of mine - the Galbe Valley, which begins near the village of Espousouille or Espolla. There are several small lakes at the end of the valley which is dominated by the Pic Baxouillade (2546m).

Pic Baxouillade
Having seen a fox near to one of the lakes, I made my way out of the valley towards the Camporells Lakes and the refuge there. On route, I wanted to find the Engraved Stones (Peyra Escrita in Catalan.) Some say that there are engravings on the rocks that date from the Magalithic Period (4000 BC)

I found 2 large blocks of stone with  flat tops. They appeared like large stone tables. I could have sat down by either stone and eaten from it.  Unusually, they were not covered with lichen as were other rocks nearby. The smooth surfaces of both the rectangular blocks were indeed engraved.

There were many names and dates that were very modern, but some of the names and particularly some of the shapes looked much older.

Perhaps the older engraved names are those of shepherds who would have spent the summer months in the area tending their flocks. As for the shapes and signs?

The cold night was spent camped by the Estany del Mig. In the morning I could see ice had begun to form on the lake.

Estany del Mig. The view from the Refuge des Camporells
I returned to Esposolla by a path that allowed me to look down on the valley where I had been the day before. While descending I saw some prints in the snow on the path. Shortly afterwards I came across a mouflon - a type of wild sheep. It was a male with the characteristic horns. The thick horns curl almost in one complete revolution.

Galbe Valley
Mouflon prints
 There are more photos of the rock engravings here.

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