Wednesday, June 15, 2011

4 Days Walking With Steve

The end of May saw me put together a 4 day walking trip for Steve from Stoke who flew into Carcassonne from Liverpool . The Orri de Planes which I normally use was not open yet and neither was the Refuge des Camporells so I had to find 2 chambres d'hotes. They were both friendly and looked after us well. I chose walks to suit Steve's fitness level with enough built in flexibility to allow them to be shortened or lengthened depending on how Steve felt on the day.

Day 1 was an excellent example of this. We walked up the Balmeta Valley passing the Balmeta lake and then on through the Llosa Valley and its frozen lakes and snow patches - it being still early in the season. With Steve feeling good  we took the summit option, topping out on the Puig de la Portella Gran. Close to the summit we found Purple Saxifrage (see Record Breaking High Altitude Plants blog entry.) On the descent I saw a Ptarmigan.

Puig de la Portella Gran

Day 2 was a recovery day and I chose to take Steve up to the border with Spain above Osseja. This can be done by car on a forestry track. There was a short walk along the border with plenty of time to relax and cloud watch.

Cloud Watching

Day 3 was spent exploring the Eyne Valley which is world famous for its flowers. Too early in the season to be at its best, there was a fine display of Narcissus and we saw 3 types of Gentianes (Trumpet, Spring and Pyrenean.) As well as a fine display of spring flowers, we saw isard and mouflon. We turned back before the col.


Day 4 was the ascent of Roc Blanc. This was Steve's favourite day. Great alpine scenery - pine forest and lake and 360° views from the summit. 

Looking Toward the Final Col Before the Summit of Roc Blanc

Steve on the Summit of Roc Blanc

The Descent to Lake Laurenti
Had a great few days again with Paul. He produced and adapted an itinerary to suit my needs and abilities to a tee.  The places we stayed were full of character and charm with a really warm welcome. The days suitably challenging but not too much.  Great time - highly recommended - will definitely come again.  Thanks Paul.
Steve  28th May 2011

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