A very long and tough day – therefore no blog last night. At 08:30 sharp Mr. Many’s minibus whisked us off through the Tunnel de Puymorens to reunite us with the horses.
Either because of incidents or somewhat mismatched horses, there was some shuffling around but we were still on the road pretty rapidly. Lots of ice on the first stretch made it treacherous at times but we got through Mérens-les-Vals without incident.
There is then a very long, very steep climb where all the horses struggle and, usually, once at the top, a number then has a good roll in the snow – only this time, we encountered half a metre of snow rather than a ‘layer’ so there was no rolling this year! The decent was incredibly tough – with snow that deep, it is step for step, each horse following exactly in the footsteps of the one in front.
The customary holding-up of the traffic in Ax les Thermes was followed by lunch on the side of the road up to the Col de Chioula. The sun and snow made pleasant change from the torrential rain of two years ago.
Once over Chioula, it is a decent – again, this year all on the roads due to the snow – to Comus. A “short cut” down the D20 saw us back in deep snow but luckily just for a short distance before heading for the night-meadow at the back of the village.
All in all a good day but at 50km, very long.