Magical mountain air and stunning views at Les Hauts Pâturages
October was a fantastic month here in the Pyrénées the weather was warm, sunny and we took the opportunity to take some of our visitors on walks and hikes. The school holidays was an opportunity to drag teens off their computers and out into the fresh air.
We also enjoyed a day in the Val D’Azun which is a short drive away and a great place for snow shoeing (Raquettes) in the winter months with 65km of marked trails. We walked up to Suyen Lake which is the first ‘high mountain’ lake of the Pyrenees National Park and is a perfect family walk with dramatic scenery and stunning views. We had a packed lunch at the lake enjoying the sunshine then wandered back down to a bar/restaurant for a well earned beer!
Finally at the end of the month Halloween is celebrated in France and our little village pulls out all the stops. People decorate their gardens and children on the village along with parents visit each house to ‘trick or treat’ more like the UK.
September was a fabulous month here with two great events:
First off was a visit from De Kostoos Cycling Team from Belgium who were taking part in a charity event to raise money for a house in Ostende (the boys home town) for the families of cancer patients and families that need somewhere to stay whilst their family member is in hospital. The boys had to ride up the Col de Tourmalet as many times as possible in a time frame. The weather was scorching hot but all together the total rides were 32 which is absolutely amazing. Well done to everyone taking part and the day ended with a well deserved table d’hôte with lots of Belgium beer!
A few days after the boys returned to Belgium Richard, Tim and Sandro arrived from Norwich in the UK. A hard cycle from Norwich to Poole, then over on the ferry saw the boys cycling through driving rain and winds with heavy backpacks. Once into France the bad weather continued but spirits were high and the miles were speeding by. Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Atlantique were ticked off the list. Finally once through Nantes the rain stopped and the sun finally shone.
Heading south into Poitou-Charenties Doug met the boys and Carlos become support vehicle with Doug shopping and preparing meals life was a little easier. The further south they headed the warm the weather and finally mid afternoon we saw the boys finally arrive after a gruelling ride up the mountain to us. SO SO proud Richard and the boys. Well done. Needless to say they sat in the sunshine, beer in hand, planning their next adventure!
A few days after the boys returned to Belgium Richard, Tim and Sandro arrived from Norwich in the UK. A marathon cycle from Norwich to Poole, then over on the ferry saw the boys cycling through driving rain and winds with heavy backpacks.
A few days ago we were surprised and delighted to see a small bird land outside the cottage. Poor thing appeared to be exhausted and certainly wasn’t shy of humans! He/She even managed to peck some water droplets from Doug’s fingers.
We think it may have belong to the bullfinch family? Can anyone help us identify the little fella. Super colourful and was unfazed by all the attention. It stayed for a couple of hours and then flew away.
We would love to know a little bit about our unexpected visitor – can you help??????
A family day out saw us driving through the Bielsa tunnel into Spain. An easy drive with drop dead scenery. First stopping for morning coffee in the town of Saint Lary which has great snowboarding parks and downhill ski slopes (about 2 hours drive from Les Hauts Pâturages) bike park, panoramic views and hot springs. Onward through the tunnel and emerging into a different world on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. We had tapas on our mind for lunch and headed to a beautiful fortified village of Anisa. Restaurants and history and oh the shopping – amazing leather shoes!
A great day out from Les Hauts Pâturages and we will be returning to explore the Spanish side of the Pyrenees!