I checked the weather forecast when the cats woke me at 6am, it had changed since yesterday evening and promised sunshine all day in the mountains, I felt morally obliged to wake Philip and after a frenzied fifteen minutes sorting out the picnic, rucksacks etc we headed off. Philip, after inspecting the height of the snowline as we drove towards St Lary, decided there would be a good walk from the Rioumajou valley to a view point. So we parked, had a quick cup of coffee (in fact this was a bit complicated as we'd forgotten to pack the filter cone...the secret is to raise the filter paper very gradually after adding hot water so it doesn't break and leave all the grinds in the cup.) It was a beautiful walk through the forest. The scenery was so dramatic with the new covering of snow, all pristine and white above 2000m, the only problem was that although the route was clearly marked on the map, the path hadn't been used since the tempest of 2009 which brought down so many of the huge conifers, so we had a lot of clambering to do as every few yards there would be a fallen tree across our path. A picnic at the view point, we could see up along the valley and into Spain. To make the walk more interesting we took a different route down, which should have been easy, but with the fallen trees and the odd land slip the route finding was difficult, we somehow lost the path and ended up clambering down steep slopes. There was a thick layer of pine needles on the ground, but it was so steep and slippery, I fell twice, so did Philip, slipping a few metres down the slope, happily brought to a stop by fallen trees. It was a relief to stumble on the path.
Back home now, I've inspected my bruises, they are huge, Philip has cooked supper, we have lit a fire and are now surrounded by sleeping cats