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About the Author

From bicycle touring to backpacking, watercolour painting to clay modelling, the exploration journal captures my journey through many different interests and travel adventures.

I love to find those out of the way places that whisk you away from the concerns of everyday life. Whether this is by wading through an overgrown river or trying new paint techniques is up to you!

Bivouacking below Vignemale, Pyrenees

Bivouacking below Vignemale, Pyrenees

We arrived in the French pyrenees to find the mountains covered in cloud, obscuring the peaks and making us wonder if we had made the right decision. We camped at a nearby campsite in Cauterets and spent the day procuring supplies for the hike into the mountains and walking around the local town.

The cloud had lifted from the mountain tops the following day and so we started the first walk. We parked at the carpark for Pont d’Espagne and set off for a two night walk up into the mountains, planning to camp near glacier d’Ossue on the first night and in a nearby valley for the second night.

We walked through woodland, over rocky scree and along winding paths past a cascading waterfall. After the waterfall we carried on up the valley towards the glacier we could see looming in the distance.

We camped just below the glacier as planned. The valley head is also home to Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube, but we decided it would be much more fun to bivouac in the fresh air.

My bivouacking equipment was a Rab bivouac bag outer, and then my sleeping bag and air mat inside to keep me warm. I went to bed fully dressed and found more layers to put on as the night continued. I woke up to find ice on the inside of the bivvy bag, from where the condensation had frozen.

After shaking the ice from the bivy bags we set off and climbed up and over into the next valley where there was a gushing river and many waterfalls. We camped beside one of the waterfalls and I went for a swim in the freezing cold river.

Walk Information:
Basecamp: Cauterets
Start/End Point: Pont d’Espagne
Type: Wild Camping
Distance: 10 miles
Time Taken: 2 days/1 night

Seven years later I did this walk again but instead of going across to the parallel valley I continued the walk up to and over the glacier: Walking to the top of the world

For the second part of the holiday we camped at Cirque de Gavarnie and explored the surrounding valleys.


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