|HRP - Day 10|
I was very glad about staying the Auberge Le Refuge barn, since there appeared to have been a big storm in the night. I was keen to get going, but thought I might as well grab some breakfast and coffee at the Auberge, so it was a bit of a slow start.
The first climb of the day was around 1100 metres to the Hourquette de Héas 2608m which was quite a spectacular rocky slot in a ridge. There was another drop and climb to the Hourquette de Chermentas before a long contour around to the Refuge de Barroude where I took 5 minutes to lie down and eat something.
A short easy climb over the Port de Barroude and I was back into Spain. Somehow I always find the Spanish less edgy and threatening, so it was a relief to be descending towards Parzan. The last 5km section down the main road dragged on a bit, especially with the temperature rocketing upwards. By the time I reached the petrol station at Parzan, it was a relief to get out of the scorching sun and into an air conditioned bar/restaurant. I ordered biftec y frites, and took in the last 20 minutes of Stage 9 of the Tour de France with the 3-man breakaway that put Thomas Voeckler in yellow for 10 days.
After my tasty snack, I bought a few snacks and then hiked back up the road to the GR11 turn off which leads up a dirt road past a hydroelectric station to Paso de los Caballos. I hiked up here for a couple of hours until just below the pass, where I bivvied at around 2200 metres in a rather wild desolate landscape.
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