I might have finished the part in Ariege, still, it didn’t mean it would be easier to get some food or withdraw some money! In Mérens les Vals, there is only one supermarket and they accept only cash or cheques.
So, I started early in the morning, around 6:40 am. I wanted to leave even earlier, but it was dark. Instead, I took my time during the breakfast. The beginning of the walk went smoothly until I bumped into a goat family. They were kind of Soprano family. I wanted to pass but they wanted to attack me. I had to wait till they went further. Otherwise, they were returning and walking in my direction.
To get to the refuge de Ruhle, I had to pass by pic de Belh and then climb the ridge. I was not a big fan of ridges (just check the section 4). However, this time, it was different. I took so much pleasure walking on a rocky route.
I had a lunch at the refuge and then headed towards crête de la Lhasse. In order to get to Mérens les Vals, I had to overcome two of my biggest fears, climbing the ridge and spending a storm in mountains. It took me some time to climb the crête de la Lhasse. When I was finally on the top, I saw some clouds gathering at the bottom. It looked serious, and I was afraid I would be caught in a storm. Well, I could panic, but this wouldn’t get me far. So I kept calm and decided to go down slowly and in the meantime, look for some shelter to spend a storm. While getting down, clouds were going away and the threat to spend a storm all alone on altitude just disappeared. I kept walking. I got to the campsite in Mérens les Vals and took a shower. I was proud of myself, instead of panicking I stayed calm and based my decisions on cold calculations, instead of emotions.
On the campsite, while looking for showers, I bumped into Raul, a Canadian cyclist who I guess did a whole Europe on a bike. That evening, I met also two French hikers. We had a lovely evening. I could just simply stay up the whole night and listen to their stories. The GR10 in a big part, was about those new encounters, at least for me. I met so many wonderful people, who had different life stories, different hobbies, but who had something, they were passionate about.
When I got to the campsite and went to the reception, a woman who was working there, was making those faces. I guess it was because I smelled badly after a whole day walking.
Possibility to camp close to the refuge de Rulhe or buy something to drink or eat. At Mérens les Vals, on the campsite, there is a shop. There is also a train station.