|HRP - Day 11|
The Paso de los Caballos was a cold windy cheerless place so early in the morning. The descent to Biados was all fairly familiar after last year's GR11. I was keen to check out the facilities at Camping Forcallo, since I'd just walked straight past last time. There was in fact a very clean and functional bar/restaurant where I took a break for at least half an hour to re-group.
I took the lower road to miss out Refugio de Biados, and then hiked up the Valle de Anescruzes through lush meadows of alpine flowers. I stopped above the meeting of the waters where the HRP breaks away from the GR11, and doused my feet in the river for a while.
The climb to the Port d'Aygues-Tortes was quite steep and dramatic, and the descent down the other side to Vallon d'Aygue-Tortes was pretty tortuous down boulder fields.
The walk down to Refuge de la Soula was bit tougher and more awkward than it appeared on the map, so I was fairly tired when I finally arrived just after 5.30pm. I bought a cheese sandwich and can of coke and contemplated staying, but the place did not have a nice atmosphere about it, and of course there were still 4 hours more daylight, so staying put was not really an option.
After a brief rest I hoisted the pack back on and launched back onto the trail with just over 700 metres to climb to reach the Lac des Isclots set in a thoroughly wild and dramatic mountain landscape.
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