Section 13: Gabas – Gourette

We woke up at 4 am, dressed up and ate our breakfast. We went out, it was so dark. We went back to sleep. The second try at 7 am. We went again to Gabas, where we had some coffee. In the café we met four Parisians who were looking down on us, telling us we would never make it to Gourette in one day. And anyway, there would be storms, so we would never make it to Gourette. Of course, we knew there were going to be storms, but only in the late evening. And it was still early. Well, I wanted to go, I knew we could do it, we had enough time, and there was a shelter in case of a storm on our way. Iwona became suddenly full of doubts. I told her not to listen to them.
The real hikers, that we crossed on our way, were never so arrogant towards us and they were always full of goods tips. Those were the people I was listening to carefully, taking notes of every word they said. We lost around an hour discussing what we should do.
Reassured by the owners of a café, that even if there would be a storm, it would be late in the evening, we headed towards Hourquette d’Arre. We cross the corniche des Alhas, that was said to be dangerous. However, we passed it smoothly. We took a forest route and ended up on cliffs. We followed the traces of old mines and reached Hourquette d’Arre (2465m) at 6 pmJust before the Hourquette d’Arre, there was snow!
On the way down, we had no idea if we were going to camp somewhere there or continue to the town. Since on our way down, we met from far, three weird guys who at 8 pm had no tent or something, we decided to go to Gourette and sleep there. While climbing the Hourquette d’Arre, Iwona was in an excellent mood, she was making some silly allusions to everything. Still, I have no idea what she was talking about when mentioning pop-up tents.
When we were getting down, there was a fog, and we couldn’t see further than 3m. We ended up in a middle of a flock. I was so afraid that there would be a patou(Pyrenean Mountain Dog). A little bit panicked, we kept going, almost ending up in a shepherd’s house since Iwona knew “the right way». 😃  After few minutes, we found the real route and we entered a forest. It was around 9 pm. The fog was terrible and we couldn’t see much. Around 10 pm we entered the town and headed to a hotel. The receptionist who saw us looked pretty scared. It was raining. We must have looked really worn out. During the night, there was a storm, however, I didn’t hear anything, I was too tired.


Good spot for a bivouac close to the river Cujalal de Hourtanel, before Hourquette d’Arre. Be careful during storms. Some flat ground can be found around lac d’Anglas, sometimes can be crowded. In Gourette, there is a gite, some shops, and a bus stop.

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