10 hours later, the clouds finally lifted and we can see the gorgeous Lescun Basalt columns. Today’s goal is Lescun where I will leave the trail for a family reunion up in Paris. The trail to Aberouat hut is easy and we are there in no time. The place is huge and very ugly. I am glad we found the shed as it was much nicer.
There is a class of teenagers doing homework outside and the girls look dumbfounded when they learned we have not showered in 4 days. It is a good thing they are not coming close enough or they would have coiled in disgust 😀
The final part of the trail is very muddy which R founds out unwillingly by tripping and getting in bogs ankle-deep. And here is Lescun, the last town before I leave the trail! It is a very cute village and we pass by a small house that sell cheese which catches R’s eye. We leave our backpacks under the church’s porch for R to handle his cheese business (I am probably the only French person that does not like cheese…)
As we made our way back to the church, we meet two hikers getting settled under the porch. Geoffrey and Laurent are two hikers that started the GR10 40 days ago from the mediterranean side. They are doing a large trip/adventure every couple of years and are travelling light: they do not have a tent but bivvies which they use sleep pretty much anywhere. We get along well and talk about the trails they want to do: the Appalachian Trail, the PCT or Te Araroa in NZ. They cannot seem to stop thinking about the Happy Meals waiting for them in Hendaye: it’s their end of trail reward and they cannot wait!
One thing I noticed was Geoffrey’s hair which is long but does not look dirty – he said he has not washed it since he left Banyuls! I was thinking that my hair “auto-washed” itself as they appeared quite ok after days of no shampoo. Looks like I am not the only one, being away from the cities and far from any kind of pollution is a good thing for my hair (I was still super happy to take a shower with real shampoo though!).
We go to the one and only “café” spot in Lescun for a drink before everyone head to their quarters for dinner and sleep.
Dinner is epic: ratatouille, home made soup, chocolate tart… and a nice glass of wine! There is a Polish guest at the hostel- he is in France for a few weeks and wants to do some hiking. It is his first day and he wants to do 30 km! In the Pyrenees, with the weather coming up (rain, rain and more rain), it is probably not a good idea. You want to start slow…
In the morning, I say goodbye to R and starts the 4km walk to a bridge in the valley to catch a bus in order to go back to Paris, saying goodbye to the trail… for now!
Sorry to all those poor people that had to sit for 7 hours next to me on the train ride to Paris – authentic hiker smell!
What happened after the GR10?
I stayed a few days in Paris for a family event before making my way to Scotland where I did a section of the West Highland Way with my sister and her friends (blog posts soon to come).
Disclaimer: I did this trip in September 2016