I discovered where the young shepherds were hiding! They were in refuges drinking beers! But let’s start from the beginning. I left Fos, but not too early, since I knew I wouldn’t walk a lot that day. Do you remember this handsome ranger? Yes, instead of having a “rencontre et échange” with him, I was on the GR10 trail! In the morning I wanted so badly to give up. I couldn’t keep going anymore. I was complaining all the time. But, on the other hand, I didn’t want to be a quitter. For once, I wanted to finish something that I started. Well, I can be too ambitious and I have problems with letting go. So, there was a very strong battle inside me.
Walking towards Melles and then Labach, the path was mainly a road, for almost 8 km. I decided that if the way will be a road, I would hitch-hike. However, I was too shy and afraid to do so. I guess I looked very miserable as two guys in a truck stopped and offered to give me a lift to the end of the road. I said yes, without hesitation. Well, some voice in my head told me, they might be actually some serial killers, but I must say, I didn’t really care. While walking, I passed by Melles, where a rabbit was strolling on a road, and the sheep were standing in the middle of the road. There was no human being and the town looked so abandoned. Then the road was mainly in a forest. When I was walking, I bumped into a shepherd. His first joke was, of course, about a bear! I felt like in Ariège, bears are the main subject in every talk. So I talked with him a little, and he said that if I was planning on camping somewhere, I should not forget about leaving some space in my tent for a bear. He told me that once, many years ago, he actually saw a bear and followed it for 10 minutes. Those bears in Ariège must run away whenever they see a human. The way up till cabane dUls was quite hard, at least for me. Then, heading towards col d’Auéran, there was a flock of sheep, and a patou too! I was lucky, my way was not passing next to them. Patous were one of by biggest fears in the Pyrenees.
It was around 1 pm, that I got to pass, and I decided to walked down instead of having lunch over there. I knew it would take me around 30 minutes to get to the refuge. So I was going down, on the rocks, in a heat, and when I got there, I saw young shepherds drinking beers!