Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 3 (9/25) - Etsaut to Col du Somport (18.6):

Today was a BIG DAY. Net elevation gain was 3300' but since there were also some downhill sections, the total ascent was nearly a mile! The summit of the Col du Somport is 1640m. There were 8 pilgrims setting out from Etsaut at 8am and we didn't walk together very much but it was nice to see them from time to time and know we were on the right path. Early on several we sections followed the main road (N134) and there were some heavy vehicles and narrow roads. However, those sections weren't as bad as the books had suggested. Most of the day was on trails and small tracks away from traffic and it was beautiful. The weather could not have been better with cool and sunny skies. There were some quite steep trails and we walked fairly slowly. Our destination was Albergue Aysa right on the summit of the col du Somport with amazing views of the pyrenees. I felt pretty exhausted! The albergue also has a bar and restaurant serving the tourists passing through but this time of year is pretty quiet. We enjoyed watching a large flock of sheep on a steep slope across the valley.

Typical back roads. Trails also passed through farmlands but mostly steep and shady areas that did not photograph well - but were very comfortable for walking.

At higher elevation we walked along hillsides

views of the Pyrenees

Arrival at the summit and crossover into Spain.

Our Albergue for tonight - on the Col du Somport and at 1640m elevation.


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