Boarder Patrol

Trip Start May 22, 2009
1
105
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Trip End Feb 16, 2010


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Flag of France  , Midi-Pyrénées,
Thursday, October 15, 2009

A side trip with the truck enabled us to get to areas we couldn’t normally access.  Not that we would even attempt it on bicycles - vehicles are bad enough.  Windy roads where motion sickness is a given, ‘oh shit’ handles are coming loose from repetitive strain, and a straight section of road lasts about 20m. 

Our goal was a little damned in lake almost on the boarder between France, Spain and Andorra with 3000m peaks rising up all around.  Up past charming little villages where all the little homes are made of stone stacked upon one another with only the slate rooves peeking through. 

We drove the truck as far up the road as possible, and then even a little farther than we should have.  Feels like complete mountain wilderness, but there are towns and roads scattered everywhere - if you can find them.  Driving is a very different than walking.  In great contrast to the towns below, the wind howled and ice formed on the road.  On foot the walk was extremely harsh and I could see why there were shephards and hikers huts dotted all around for shelter.  You can see why farmers train their animals instead of caring for them themselves.  Dogs called ‘Patou’ are raised with a herd (Pyrenees mountain dogs).  As a result they will guard and defend their animals from any predator they may face - including humans.  If you happen to wander in range they will bark furiously and give you many warnings to get away.  If you don’t heed the warnings - you’re at your own risk with a fierce dog that comes up to your waist. 

Despite the dogs and the cold and wind, we did manage a little hike up past a waterfall up to a beautiful plateau area with mountains all around.  Huddled behind a rock to provide some resistance from the wind, we scarfed down a bit of picnic lunch before running back to the truck for warmth.  Then it was down into the town of Ax to soak our cold feet into some hot springs.  
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