After breakfast we walked round some of the Cirque de Gavarnie. Very dramatic treading along wood edges, finding endemic plants including Dragonmouth, Pyrenian, Columbine, P.Squill, P. Cranesbill, P.Valerian & P. Saxifrage. Also a snowfinch, not more than ten feet away, happily eating seeds. Maybe a Golden Eagle too, high up in the sky.
After a wet evening, we broke camp and pushed on through the French & then the Spanish Pyrenees, rain following us as we climbed up & then down the mountains. Dragon’s breath not far behind us.
Once we reached the plains, clouds disappeared, opening up into vast clear blue sky. We stopped off for Spanish bread. I'm sure that by then we were all suffering from mountain madness. Too many late nights of endless rain & that French Old Lady Gin, leading to big bluesy Jack Kerouac hangovers.Mountain madness –
soaking wet, like tattered rags
laughing at ourselves
We drove off & stopped again for cheese and bread, Tony in fits whenever we mentioned the bread shop. As we ate, relaxing in the heat, a quail walked indifferently past us.Sweltering sun
"wet my lips" – the quail seems to
have the right take on things
So, enough was enough & we broke camp in the morning. In dismal rain we headed back for the coast & England. Followed by dragon’s breath, always on our tail.Dragon’s breath
covering the morning sun –
Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England
first published in Presence 31, Jan. 2007