Vallée d’Aspe - Vallée d’Ossau (F)


The “Chemin de la Mâture (Mast Path) was built to get the logs down through the Sescoué Gorge.

Anno 1773

17/08/2011: Vallée d’Aspe: Urdos - Gîte de Lhers (1010 m):   km

Hike up to Col d’Arras (4 hs, 620 m elevation) through the “Chemin de la Mâture” (path of the masts) of the Pact Forest, which was used in 1773 for the transportation of long logs that were used to build masts from the Pact Forest through the Sescoué Gorge. We enjoyed very much the panorama from up the Col d’Arras. After our hike we had a coffee at Etsaut and then drove to Lescun, but got diverted from our initial route by a sign for motor caravans that we followed up as high as the Gîte de Lhers. There is a space for motor caravans (7,20 €/night with electricity). We don’t know what the view from here looks like because we are in thick fog.

18/08/2011: Vallée d’Aspe: Gîte de Lhers - Vallée d’Ossau: Laruns (600 m): 63 km

Hike to Cabanes d’Ansabère (3h, 560 m elevation). We were surprised by heavy rains almost as we reached the Cabanas but were lucky that we could use them as shelter and have our picnic. Drive over to the parallel valley “Vallée d’Ossau” through a very pretty plateau “##” to Laruns where we settled at the parking lot for motor caravans that is right in the centre of the village (free of charge, but very close one to each other). As it was Friday there was a little night market with local products and handicraft. We had a Breton dinner with galettes and cider at the “Crêperie Fleur de Sel” on the main square, and everything was excellent.

19/08/2011: Vallée d’Ossau: Laruns, Eaux Chaudes, Lac de Fabrège/Artouste (1318 m): 27 km

On Julia’s birthday we first had a celebration in our camper with a delicious tourte aux myrtilles (delicious!) which came from the bakery on the central square. We then had a stroll through the village of Laruns and then drove to the Thermal village of Eaux Chaudes where Julia enjoyed a hammam session. This town looks almost like a ghost town, and the therms themselves are really old fashioned. Just to tell you that there are no normal showers, so when I finished the first thing was that I took a shower “at home”. Drive further South to the Lake Fabrèges which is the only place in the Parc des Pyrénées where motor caravans can stay overnight. Dinner at the restaurant “Le Séouquet” next to the cable car: we had a huge cheese fondue! And there was an enormous amount of regional ham specialities before it. Fortunately we could take doggy bags home... It was a fun birthday celebration... and we are dead from eating. Tomorrow we want to get up at 6h30 to drive to the parking lot.

20/08/2011: Vallée d’Ossau: Lac de Fabrège - Lac de Bious Artigues - Lac de Fabrège/Artouste (1318 m): 21 km

We really managed to get up early and park our camper on the upper parking lot of Lac de Bious Artigues at the trail head. We did the hike of the lakes AND we did a bonus hike up to the Col des Moines which is the border of France with Spain and from where we had a fantastic view over the most impressive French Pyrenees. The whole hike took us 8 hours, 850 elevation, 20 km long. Overnight at the same place as the night before although a little before on the road in the hope that we will be less disturbed by the bells of the cows around us.

21/08/2011: Artouste in Vallée d’Ossau (France) - Biescas, Valle de Tena - Pirineos Alto Gállego (Spain) (980 m): 42 km

We took advantage of the WiFi offered by the tourist office and checked our emails before experiencing BDD. At about 12h30 we took the cable car with our boarding the cable car with our BDDs. This cable car is primarily working now in the summer time because of the “little train” that was used for mining purposes and is now running for tourists. It is supposedly the highest train in Europe and it runs on top of the mountains -a very good idea of recycling #. We bought new hats and Julia 2 polar coats at one of the shops in Artouste and then we headed to Spain, stopping at the Col du Portalet (Venta El Portalet). This is a craze place: lots of shops, especially supermarkets for the French. That explained the huge traffic we had two days before on the road to Laruns when we drove up to Artouste. Drive the Valle de Tena where we first stopped at one of the huge ski resort parkings lots, at El Formigal. We saw many falcons and also glaciers behind El Formigal. The we drove down to Biescas where we settled at the parking west bank of Rio Gállego (N 42º 37.612’ W 0º 19,374’) and had a tinto de verano to cool off because it was a very hot day (37º)

Laruns, Vallée d’Ossau

Seen in Laruns

Julia wearing her new present (trousers) that she got from her sister.

Eaux Chaudes: Thermal Spa

Eaux Chaudes: almost a ghost town

Look at this huge cheese that we got! We didn’t make it all...

Pic du Midi d’Ossau, 2884 m

Lac Gentau

Pic du Midi d’Ossau, as seen from Col des Moines, 2168 m

Our “BDD” tour in Artouste down to Lac Fabrège, Vallée d’Ossau

This is the area where we walked yesterday!

The little train -the highest in Europe. Formerly used for mining purposes.

By chance we saw these glaciers behind the ski resort El Formigal.

Biescas: enjoying a cool tinto de verano after this very hot day.