9th August: Crete de Vars hike up, jog down

We had a great walk up Crete de Vars today. It was quite cloudy when we left the campsite but at least that meant it was cool because we had quite an ascent ahead of us.

We set off through the forest and the path zigzagged up hill relentlessly. We could see rain clouds on some distant peaks but luckily, we only had a brief shower and didn’t need to put our coats on.

Finally, we broke out of the forest below huge crags and the path wound its way up to the ridge, 600m above our starting point. The views were awesome, over several valleys and mountain ridges.

We continued to climb for another 200m to the highest point on the ridge, where we stopped for lunch. Luckily, we had some sunshine now and it was lovely sitting and enjoying the views. We’d hardly seen anyone else up to now but, as we looked down at our path back, there were quite a few people enjoying picnics below us.

The path down was quite gravelly underfoot and I decided it was easier to run and be light on my feet than to take my time, when I seemed to end up sliding. We were travelling light in our running trainers, having become quite accustomed to running over difficult terrain in Snowdonia.

We ended up jogging most of the way back, stopping now and then to take photos and look at the view, or to cool our hands and faces in the streams we crossed.

Just as we reached the van, it started to rain. Perfect timing!

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