A very furry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Travels With My Spaniel.
So we understand from reading the guidebook, anyway. And today we’re setting out to walk a very tiny part of it, from Superbagnères, a tiny ski resort high above the spa town of Luchon.
We drive the 2200 metres up to Superbagnères. Is that cheating?
It’s a glorious, crisp day and we’re just above the snowline here. Superbagnères is a cute little resort and we ski here quite often, but this year it doesn’t look promising for the snow levels.
We park in the main carpark, and make our way up onto the mountain following the ski slope.
It feels odd to be walking across the dry, stony ski slopes on our way to the start of the path. Mind you, it’s the most under control I’ve ever been on a black run.
We pass a chair lift, waiting to be put into service, and the weather webcam. It makes a 360 revolution every hour on the half hour, and as it’s nearly time we’re tempted to try and get our pictures on the 11.30 photo. Fortunately common sense prevails.
The path clings to the side of the mountain shoulder, mostly an easy walk but turning into a rocky scramble in places. The views are stunning both in front of us and behind, and there are snowfields ahead.
Ahead of us on the path, we make out a tiny moving figure. It’s a surprise to realise there’s anyone else up here, as it feels like the ends of the earth. Our fellow hiker is moving very slowly, and swinging what looks like a white stick from side to side. We have a quick but heated discussion about the possibility of him being blind, and decide that as we’re on a six-inch wide path on the side of a mountain it’s probably unlikely. As we get closer, we see that he’s actually swinging two walking batons right across his body, and what we could see was the sunlight glinting on them as they crossed. He offers a cheery ‘Bonjour!’ as we pass him and enter the snowfields.
Monty has had his paw-trait painted by the lovely and very talented US artist, Cathryn Hatfield.
Monty’s pictured sailing round a favourite real life location, Ullswater in the Lakes. Not bad for a dog who doesn’t like getting his paws wet.
From now until Christmas 2011, Cathryn’s also making a donation to UK Medical Detection Dogs for every painting sold. Click here for more information and further examples of Cathryn’s work.