An easy day after an initial steep climb. The interesting leg was coming into Bareges, though Viella and Sers were also both picture perfect. The last 4km into Bareges included an art trail where walkers are encouraged to pause and guided through artistic techniques to capture particular scenes en route. A splendid idea which would surely work in many other environments. A lovely farmer’s market met us in Bareges, where we procured some local sheep’s cheese, saucicon (there was donkey saucicon available, but somehow we weren’t tempted), and honey bread/cake which is laced with armagnac. Great fuel.
The patisserie also tempted with a vanilla slice which we carried to our supposed centrally located ‘hotel’…30 minutes up a hill.
We came across the Amytaville ski lodge of horror. Our host’s look of embarrassment was only mirrored by our WTF did we book look. When eventually in the room, it transpired that there was not even a cold beer to be had. Vending machines, functional as they are, do not make for appetising meal choices after a day on the trail. So back down the hill we went to stock up on better choices from the supermarket (after an obligatory stop for cold beverage). We lugged it all back to our lodge and had a fantastic picnic, before crashing out early to the sound of thunder.
Breakfast gave us our aha moment as we gathered that this establishment is probably used in season for school field trips (making sense out of why Will didn’t fit in the bed properly, and why only single beds were available). Christmas decorations were still up – no doubt convenient for December, but adding to the sense that we’d entered some kind of zombie apocalypse as the mist rolled in the evening before..and we roamed about the empty establishment looking for suitable glassware for wine (there were none…we crafted some from beer cans).