Section 16: Lac d’Estaing – Cauterets

The day didn’t start quite well. It was freezing outside. The temperature was maybe around 5°C. Nonetheless, the way till Col d’Ilhéou was nice.
While heading to the Lac Ilhéou, we met a woman with whom we did some part of that day’s walk. This part was so crowded. Full of arrogant tourists. They were walking without paying attention to other hikers. And if we stepped aside so they could pass easier, we had never heard merci.
Cauterets is a big town, full of people. I prefer the savage part of the Pyrenees. Only us and nature.
I started having doubts. First thoughts about going back to Paris appeared.

Col d’Ilhéou offers a flat ground for a bivouac, however, the camping is regulated since it’s in the nature reserve territory. At lac d’Ilhéou, close to the gite, there is a bivouac spot. In Cauterets, you will find campsites, hotels, shops, restaurants, bus station. From Cauterets, there are two ways. First, via Hourquette d’Ossou and it may take 2-3 days to get to Luz St Sauveur. The second one, via Col de Riou, takes only one day. 

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