Monday, 20 October 2008

Etang de Peyregrand

The forecast today was for 20 degrees and sunny with clear blue skies. Great! Out we headed, up the Vicdessos Valley but turning off at Lamarade and up the valley to the road end at Bouychet. I had spotted a walk in one of our books which promised us 'un paysage sauvage' with the reward of an étang (tarn/lake) or two throw in. We set off up the Canyon des Escales, following the course of the river which apparently turns into a 'canyoning' playground in the springtime. The footpath was well established with reinforced wall sections in places and was probably used in days gone by as a trade route between France and Spain and maybe also by the 'Passeurs' who accompanied resistance fighters from France through to freedom in Spain during WWII - the border is only 10kms from where we parked but with an ascent of some 1500m. Underfoot it was rocky and uneven and probably very tricky in wet or snowy conditions.

After 1 hour and 500m of ascent, the canyon walls retreated and space opened out in front of us as we reached Jesse de Brouquenat d'en bas. Taff very kindly agreed to pose on a 'passerelle' (bridge) .Heading on up the valley, we reached the Cabane de Brouquenat where we had a much-needed butty stop to replenish our energy reserves before the climb up to the Etang de PeyregrandThe view back down the valley from where we had come was really quite wild and pretty in the afternoon sunlightSo then we started the climb up to the Etang de Peyregrand which would take our total ascent to over 1000m. It had taken us 2.5 hrs to cover the 8kms but it was worth it Andorra is at the head of the etang and then up!

But for us, the only way was down. There were a few runnable sections but generally we were confined to a brisk walk. The round trip took us just over 4 hrs - it had been a lovely outing in a 'véritable paysage sauvage'.


Lee said...

Nah...ahead then up is Andorra. Looks good up there though.

penny said...

OK, Andorra.... But Spain is close! ;-) Was wonderfully wild up there. Plenty of scope to lengthen the outing too.