Banyuls sur mer is a commune in the Pyrénées Orientales department in southern France.. This was where our trek begun. Naturally of course we spent the day enjoying the beach soaking up the rays and swimming in the sea. After a quick food stop in the little coastal village shop and we set off.
Making camp by 8pm due to the dark clouds started rolling in. That evening was filled with howling winds that kept us awake.
Little sleep was to be had since the tent was almost blown away.
This ensured two miserable nomads walking the next day...
but, we did successful climb 1250m high and were able to hang up the hammocks.
We even enjoyed a fire and hot dinner...greatly appreciated after a diet of bread and cheese.
However, the feeling of contentment soon faded, because what soon followed was yet another sleepless night due to the wind (mental note to pack ear plugs next time!) Even cramming into one hammock and feeling like tin sardines didn't help. Brr! Empty on food & and exhausted by the weight on our shoulders, we pushed on...
what was becoming apparent was that water was not quite so ready available...the majority, if not all water sources were empty. Scary. Summer heat (looking back and a VERY obvious factor to consider) effected the supply of water. It made for a devestating realisation when finally making it to the source and grasping to the hope of refreshing a parched throat that it wasn't going to happen. Nope. Bone dry. Again....oh boy.... Dehydrated and exhausted. This was tough! Rarely did it happen there was delicious cold water....not till later on when we were higher up. But at the time we didn't know this... Shall we go...continue and risk it...or stop and turn back? We got this far....so on we went. So we struggled to carry the litres in our already back breaking rucksacks. But continue we did. Again - looking back - Less is more. Very much more. But in due respect, we were also packing for after the trek. So emotionally, and physically broken... we decided to stop in the border town village of La Purthus.
What was shown on the map ( a tiny barely existent village) was in fact, a well stock bric and brac , tacky touristy town. French & Spanish roamed excitedly - maybe due to the holiday buz that was clearly in the air. Us - two sweaty, dehydrated & over packed trekkers - stuck out like a sore thumb. Oh dear...i don't know who was more embarrassed. oops! Quick stock up and go. It turned out that one of us would have a little injury and the other, would have to return to the village for more water because pushing on, with no reliable water sources guaranteed, during prime heat - works for no one.
Finally...a decent night sleep in a small gathering of pine trees. Tucked away nicely, we rested.