Gavarnie – France 2010

The aire at Gavarnie is just north of the town (about 1.5 miles) and is a cracking location. It’s also free with all facilities. If you are lucky enough to wake up there on a clear morning then you will be blessed with amazing views in all directions:

View from Gavarnie aire on a clear morning - the sky really was this colour!
View from Gavarnie aire on a clear morning - the sky really was this colour!

Gavarnie aire - views of the mountains

After breakfast, we went down into Gavarnie and took the popular walk up to the Cirque du Gavarnie, a waterfall surrounded by a natural rock amphitheatre, according to our guide book. It isn’t the most impressive waterfall I’ve seen, but the scenery generally is fantastic and it’s a pleasant walk. The walk is about an hour (up to the Cirque) and can be made into a much longer circular route, if you wish and if conditions permit – the path was still blocked with snow past the Cirque, so we had no choice but to turn around and come back the same way.

Cirque de Gavarnie walkViews from the Cirque de Gavarnie walk

On that note, I saw, for the first time, the path left by a (small) avalanche. I suppose it isn’t impressive if you’ve seen bigger ones, but I was a little awed by it, especially as high up the mountain, while we were walking back, a couple of mini avalanches took place and I heard the unmistakeable thunderous rumbling noise that they make – here’s a video of one we saw:

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