A Travellerspoint blog

Just a walk in the park

sunny 22 °C

So it turns out that this little town of Cauterets has two seasons; summer with plenty of hiking and winter with impressive skiing. October seems to be a bit of a shoulder season and it seems that just about everyone gets out of town when they have a chance. It is pretty dead here so our selection of restaurants was somewhat limited last night. After exploring the quiet streets and reading the four available menus repeatedly, we decided to roll the dice on Cafe Paris. From the street we could see a little bar space that was taken up by the four regulars, but when we went inside there were some stairs down to a dining room that looked a little more inviting. The owner spoke some english so I didn't have to try and mash up another language for the day, which was nice. The temperature outside had dropped into the teens so when he suggested the days specials were various soups, Nat ordered the fish soup and I had the local specialty called a "Garbure" which came with duck confit. It sounds strange for just ordering soup, but with everything it came with, we were running out of space on our table. We were actually looking forward to going back tonight, but to our surprise, he is closed Thursdays, I still can't figure out when anyone works here. Maybe they are on to something!

Today I woke up at 7am, and it was still pitch black. It is a bit of a ridiculous time to get out of bed even if the sun is shining, but at least I had an excuse to nap for a few more hours. We rolled out of the hotel at the crack of 11 and the town was still just waking up. Nat needed some hiking boots and we managed to find some in the one shop that had opened early. Imagine not opening until 11am and then going for a 3 hours lunch around 12:30!! I thought my life was good! Anyway, we found some hiking details from the Park Office and we were off. As we are headed for Mount Everest in the next few weeks it is probably a good idea to get some hikes in. We had plenty of options from 4 hours to 4 days, I didn't want to rush the training schedule so opted for the 4 hour one.

I haven't spent much time in mountains or in ski towns so the views are pretty spectacular, I can only imagine what it is like when everything is covered with snow. The hike took us in a loop through a valley to Lake Gaube, if you look carefully in the background of some of our pictures you will see snow still in the peaks from last year. I thought about taking a quick swim, but I forgot my towel...and glacier fed lakes aren't my idea of a good time. We took lunch so ate that at the lake, the weather was perfect and with the sun it was really pretty warm. Now night is falling and it's time to hunt for food again, we'll let you know how it goes.

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Posted by colincampbell 10:36 Archived in France

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