|HRP - Day 21|
This morning I was up and away by 6am, keen to capitalise on the ground I made up yesterday, and with half a mind on reaching Gite Mines de Batere.
I saw a fantastic sunrise from the Col de la Marrana before dropping down to Refuge Ulldeter for some breakfast. The next long ridge section to Refuge de Mariailles looked pretty straightforward on the map, but turned out to be much tougher than expected, so I was fairly tired by the time I reached Marialles and stopped for half an hour of so for an omelette and some coffee.
It was super-misty as I left the refuge and very murky on the climb up Pic du Canigou. The final steep section was quite daunting in the cold windy conditions, with no view whatsoever from the deserted summit. I descended quite carefully down the rocky zig-zags that eventually lead out to Refuge des Cortalets.
The atmosphere around the refuge was so depressing with cold dank mist and water dripping off the trees, it did not appeal, and even though it was about to get dark, I still decided to hike on down the trail for an hour or so to find a solitary camping spot.
I reached the junction at Prat Cabrera where the narrow rocky 'Balcon du Canigou' footpath begins. This looked like a bad choice for camping spots, but managed to find a lumpy patch of level ground just below the junction, in tussocky wet grass that did the job.
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