Apart from the occasional saunter around by the chateau and back by the river, I'm ashamed to say it's a few months since I've been on a walk of any length. So when the e-mail came around saying that there would be a major hike today, I signed up, polished the boots and dug out the woolly socks.
We all met at the SuperU parking lot in Mirepoix, then headed along a stretch of the major trail that connects a number of local villages, partly along disused railway lines.
To say it was a glorious autumn day is understatement. It was just gorgeous. Dew sparkled on the grass. The sky was like an upturned cerulean blue bowl. And it got hot very quickly so that jackets and fleeces--what was I thinking when I put that on?--swiftly came off.
We climbed up and up, about 18 of us I think, with the occasional staggering view of the Pyrenees and the occasional staggering walker as all of us opted to climb to the crest (rather than take the tempting downhill trail back towards Mirepoix). The way was steep but when we got to the top, we felt like eagles with the tidy Ariège countryside spread out below us.
This was the general view. Moving closer you can see the village of La Bastide de Boussignac and the plane tree-lined road leading into it on the road that we take every time we drive to Mirepoix.
A long restaurant table was waiting for us when we eventually made it back there after doing about 10 kilometres. The menu wasn't exactly as shown. Instead of soup, there was goat's cheese salad, and the dessert was iced nougat. I doubt that very much got done by any of us for the rest of the afternoon.