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France

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-- From 2014/08/12 to 2014/08/dd
-- From St Jean to ?
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The GPS road tracklog
From St Jean to Tarascon-sur-Ariège
From 2014/08/12 to 2014/08/17

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Leaving the Transpyrenean tour, I arrived at St Jean Pied de Port on Tuesday, August 12 around 14:00 to do shopping supply of food and diesel fuel. Then I took again the road to bivouac at the Vault St Saver in the clouds and in a fine rain.

Lac de Fabrèges

The rain fell all the night. I always left the bivouac in the rain by an outside temperature of 8°C. The small secondary roads of the French Pyrenees curved in rolling mountains in forests, clouds and in the rain. The sun appeared timidly around 16:00 at the edge of the Lake Fabrèges and the temperature climbed up to 21°C. The difference in climate between the French Pyrenees and the Spanish Pyrenees is proven. I understand that the slope of the French Pyrenees stops the bad weather! I wanted to go again to Spain.

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Mountains about 9h00 ! Lake of Fabrèges

Pass of l'Aubisque, 1709m

At the edge of the Lake Fabrèges at 8:00 am the day was announced sunny. I decided to make the walk to see the Circus of Gavarnie. But before I was to cross the Pass of Aubisque. On the way I admired the Peak of Ger, to see the Picture in the Gallery above

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Panorama Sculpture, at the glory of the Tour de France

Cirque de Gavarnie, 1676m

The walk of approach of the Circus of Gavarnie is 2 hours return. In this summer period many were the families which undertook the excursion, but also many were the halts in edge of track. The day being beautiful little imported the duration of walk to them, it was necessary to go there. While arriving the spectacle is dramatic. What the mountain is beautiful, as the poet, Jean Ferrat said. The bottom of the circus is at 1676m high and the tops of the wall at approximately 3000m high. Provided with my sticks of walk I made the outward journey and the return of the ca rpark, close to the Statue of the Virgin, in announced time. Admittedly at the return I had the heavy legs! I wished to bring me closer to La-Mongie. I found a spot of bivouac at Super-Barèges, famous ski station.

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Pic du Midi

The day of August 15th was a strong moment. Not without apprehension I tookn the cable car to reach the Peak of the South. Of course I carried a frequency meter which I consulted during the rise. On arrival at 2877m it posted a pulse of 71 by going and 66 at sited rest. I was reassured on my health and the capacities of my heart with the  necrosis left ventricle. The Peak was in the clouds; no visibility on the imposing panorama announced by all literatures. No problem my target was reached, but I persevered to test higher in the Alps, to follow. I wanted to profit to be in a city to publish the last page of the tour in Spain. Alas the Wi-Fi connection at the Tourist Office was needy and limited in time and volume. The employee indicated the restaurant Le Schuss with an effective connection; I decided to lunch there by ensuring that the connection was operational. I ordered my lunch then I started my laptop, nothing! Then the waiter by bringing my dish told me without shame, yes connection does not work well, euphemism. By paying at the counter I say to the owner my way of thinking. France remains poor in hot spots.

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Up Arrival
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In the clouds
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The origin Projection on the lift
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Model Down

Bivouac, Louron river

Piqued I begun the road again passing the Pass of Aspin to visit the churches in the valley of Louron equipped with retables of the 17th century; alas they were closed, opened on go. I found a nice bivouac at the edge of Louron river where fishermen launched their line.

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Panorama from the pass of Aspin
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 Louron river

Saint Béat

On Friday, August 16 I made three visits. Saint Béat is famous for three reasons. Its white marble careers are known since the Romans and were used for the basins and the statues of the park of Versailles. It is an old fortified town called the bolt of the Vall of Aran towards Gascogne and finally and not least it is the birthplace of the Marshal Gallieni . It is built in arc of a circle at the bottom of cliff and at the edge of the Garonne river. Its church of Romanesque style dates from the 11th century.

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Marbel of Saint-Béat !
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Garonne river
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Castel and church
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Romanesque Church

Saint Bertrand de Comminges

Saint Bernard de Comminges built on a rock piton dominates the basin of the Garonne river the Sainte-Marie cathedral built in two periods has a Romanesque part, the porch and the narthex, and a later Gothic part the nave and the chorus of the canons. The cloister opens on the countryside is also in two styles with the the famous pillar of the four evangelists. The old chapter house exposes liturgical objects and especially two tapestries of Tournai. The woodworks of the stalls of the canons are of Renaissance style.

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Cathedral Sainte-Marie
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Narthex, Romanesque style Nave, Gothic style
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Cloître
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Tapestries of Tournai, 16e siècle
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Stalls of chanoines

Valcabère, Basilique Saint Just

A little further the village from Valcabrère is honoured by the basilica Saint-Just, dating from the 11th and 12th century, built with materials of re-employment coming from an old Roman city. In the late afternoon I establish my bivouac at the pass of Portet d'Aspet.

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Romanesque basilica
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Audressein

On Sunday, August 17 I moved towards Tarascon on Ariège to find a camp-site with a WiFi connection. On the way by passes I stopped at Audressein to see as strange as splendid Romanesque church with frescos of the 15th century. On the road of St Jacques de Compostel it is registered at the World Heritage of Humanity. The road of the passes curves by mount and valleys; very narrow it requires a great vigilance at the time of the crossings. My last halt before Tarascon was a stage of pilgrimage at Auzat which was a aluminum factory of Pechiney Group, today alas disappeared. The camp-site of the Pre Lombard is at the edge of a river.

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Fresco