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Section 24: Maison du Valier – Aulus les Bains

So, I had kind of given up. I woke up and I knew I couldn’t hit the trail. I needed some break. I needed to have a coffee, eat something warm and wash my clothes. I had no plan what to do, so I broke down my camp, took all my stuff and started walking on the street. I told myself, it would bring me somewhere. I needed a shop where I could buy some fresh fruits. While I was walking, an English woman stopped and asked me where I was going. I said to the closest city. She took me to St Girons, as it was on her way. I checked a map and to get back on the trail, I should have headed towards Aulus-les-Bains. So I did. In the meantime, I had some coffee while waiting for a bus to my destination. I went to the town hall to assure myself that there was a bus since it was a weekend. While waiting, the lady that I met in the town hall, finished her job and passed next to me. She came back offering she would take me to Aulus-les-Bains, so I wouldn’t have to wait for a bus. It was surprising, how far I could get that day, just with a kindness of people. In Paris, it’s a rare thing, here my faith in human beings came back. When I was leaving in the morning, I had no idea where to go. I knew I couldn’t hike, but I was too tired to make some plans where and how to get somewhere. So I just kept walking. I was surprised how my mood was changing all the way through the GR10 trail. Sometimes, I was so close to quitting it, but inside, I was really happy to hike. In the Pyrenees, the life was simple. Either you kept walking and you would get somewhere, or you could just sit and complain and nothing would change, and your destination would not come any closer. So I had to keep moving.
When I slept next to Etang d’Araing, I went out of my tent during the night, and I saw a sky full of stars. I have never seen so many stars in my life before!
There was 295,1 km left till Banyuls. The possibility to climb Canigou was becoming very real. I enjoyed my time in the Pyrenees so much. I got used to walking with my big backpack. I was really happy and even proud of myself, that I dared to start this adventure, even alone. It was tiresome, and hard sometimes, but I loved it. Words cannot explain my love for this. 

Some people that I met during my hike, kept saying that I must be brave to walk alone. They have no idea how much of a coward I am. But I decided to change it and dare to do things that might scare me at the beginning. But if we never get out of our comfort zone, we will never chase our dreams!
That day, I met a woman in her 60s. She always dreamt about hiking the GR10. And that year she made up her mind and went alone. She told me, she really wanted to do this alone, not with her husband or kid, who were keen on hiking, but alone. I understood, that walking the GR10 and witnessing all those amazing things, it is a gift. And I really appreciated it.

I spent two nights at this campsite. The price is good and the campsite is clean.

 
 
FOLLOWING DAY
 

So there I was, taking another day off. It was raining since early in the morning. I heard that it would continue like that the whole day, and Ariège in the rain is quite hard. I decided then, to stay and spend one day there. I had so many doubts about my hike up to then, but I guess it was the first time, I actually thought I might do it. I had still like 12 days left to walk. What’s more, the complaining left the place for admiration and appreciation of nature. I started really enjoying myself and my solo hike. I met Genia on a campsite, a Russian-born hiker but living in Germany. We spent some time together.
I was surprised that there was actually nothing I was missing. I got everything I needed in my backpack. I enjoyed being alone. Maybe even too much, since I started avoiding a company. I started worrying less. I was always this person that had to have everything button up, kind of control freak. And I did let it go. I started making decisions faster, I trusted my choices, I stopped thinking over every single step. I knew I could count only on myself, so I became very responsible, not blaming anyone for my faith and misadventures. I really liked this kind of life. I would wake up in the morning, have my breakfast and then walk. Alone, or sometimes with another hiker. I would stop whenever I would feel hungry or landscape would be amazing. I would make new friends every day and keep going without knowing where the road would bring me on a particular day. There was no place for this kind of consuming routine. On one hand, a routine could be comfortable, but on the other side, on a long term, it is so dangerous.

«Vivre, c’est continuer, et il y a une défaite dans le retour sur ses pas.»

 

If you decide to spend some more time in this area, you can visit this website to learn more about proposed activities. I spent two nights at this campsite. The price is good and the campsite is clean.

 

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