In June 2020, we decided to go at 2, roaming the hiking trails and semi-autonomy. All this in the Pyrenees! We thought for a moment about what we wanted to do in terms of roaming: part of the GR10, one end of the snowmen path. Then finally we turned to the Tour des Pérics. We tell you why!
What is the Pérics tour?
- A loop from refuge to refuge between Haute Ariège (Orlu valley and Besines) and Capcir (Pyrénées Orientales)
- A perfectly well marked itinerary, over 4 days.
Why did we choose this roaming?
- Because we leave at the start of the hiking season, so we didn't want to roam too long, or too intense. This one is perfect because it is 4 days.
- It is a roaming from refuge to refuge, so in order not to carry too much weight, we chose semi-autonomy: we sometimes take our evening meals in a refuge but we are autonomous for the nights because we sleep in a tent.
- Because the Pérics tour is a roaming between Ariège and Pyrénées Orientales, two destinations that we particularly like: lakes everywhere, beautiful points of view on the summits, passages in gigantic moors, strolls between hooked pines and cedars.
Go, I tell you more! This way !
Day 1 - departure from Orlu
Fanguil car park ➜ Refuge d'en Beys
To join the circuit, on the Ariège side, there are two solutions: park at Orlu and start the loop via En Beys, or park at Hospitalet and climb via Les Besines. We chose to attack via the Orlu valley. So we parked in the Fanguil car park.
What you need to know is that when leaving Orlu, we add a (small) day of walking to our 4-day roaming 🥾
Crossing the Orlu reserve is an extraordinary moment. In Ariège, everyone talks about the Orlu reserve when it comes to going for walks in a very preserved environment. And now, people are right! The jasse d'en Gaudu bordered by the Oriège is the home and playground for families of marmots and chamois. Seeing them evolve close to us is a very moving moment.
Taking our time and loaded like mules (all the same!) We arrived at the d'en Beys refuge with a 3h30 walk. It was hot and beautiful, but we quickly realized that we were going to hear some thunderclaps tonight. The weather was very stormy.
En Beys Refuge © M.Fuster Our tent, just behind the refuge © M.Fuster
Day 2 - from Refuge d'En beys to refuge des besines
After a rather stormy night (in real life the storm was in the Eastern Pyrenees, but with the echo I had the impression that it was above us), at 9 a.m. we went to get our lunch from midday to refuge. What was quite funny was that we were 3 groups of 2 young people, all of whom got up by this time to start the hike, and the group of 4 people in their 50s had woken up at dawn. to set off again… we no longer have the same hiking habits! haha
Refuge d'En Beys in the early morning © M.Fuster Etang d'en Beys in the early morning © M.Fuster
In short, we are off again in the direction of Besines on day 2 which promises to be perfect in terms of weather. This stage allows us to take advantage of the lakes above d'en Beys, in particular the Faury pond, where it is very pleasant to take a break.
After this pond we are faced with a landscape that is sometimes lunar, very stony, sometimes worthy of the Mongolian steppes, when we see on our left a piece of the huge Lanoux pond. Continue to Coll de Coma d'Anyell. You can really feel the Catalan influence on the ign map with the names of the summits.
The landscape changes as soon as you descend: initially very granite, you gradually sink into a beautiful valley carpeted with rhododendrons and magnificent ancestral pines. We arrive after 5h30 of walking at the Besines refuge nestled in this small wild setting.
After setting up the tent and having washed our clothes, we sit on the terrace, facing the Besines pond, to drink a beer while waiting for the meal served not much later. We find the same hikers there as the day before.
The hot dishes are comforting, and the meal friendly. That evening we spoke with 2 Belgians, a father and his daughter, who came from Font Romeu on foot via the Carlit. Two very great sportsmen and lovers of the Pyrenees.
Day 3 - from Refuge des Besines to refuge des bouillouses
The night was very restful, and I am recovering well in terms of my legs (on Antoine's side, everything is fine, he is well trained!). So much the better, because the day promises to be long, and the weather is bad ...
I can't wait to get to Les Bouillouses, I love this spot. Departing from Besines, we cross the jasse des Besineilles on the GR tour des Pérics (yellow and red markings), and from there, we take so much in our eyes ... We walk along the Moulsut ponds, of an extraordinary green, anchored at the foot of the cirque and puig Pedros.
We reach the Portella de Lanos from which the Lanoux pond does not take our eyes off, until the Coll de Coma d'Anyell. By stopping for a picnic on the descent to the Rouzet hut, we understand that the weather is going to change, and that we risk really being soaked (and that is saying an understatement). The wind picks up, the sky turns gray… we hit the road again with the aim of arriving quickly in Les Bouillouses. The colors of this valley, coupled with the weather, created a unique atmosphere: I had the impression of being projected into the Scottish highlands, a trip I had made 2 years earlier.
Lanoux pond © M.Fuster Highland landscapes © M.Fuster
From Portella de la Grava, the weather really deteriorates, we are clearly soaked haha and it is not over, because the valley to reach the lake of Bouillouses is of a length which seems interminable!
Arrived at the north-west rise of Lac des Bouillouses, we decided to leave it there for the day. The weather improves a bit when we decide to pitch the tent, which allows us to let our things dry, while we go to wash by the lake.
Laundry drying at the Bouillouses © M.Fuster Lac des Bouillouses © M.Fuster
The advantage of the bivouac is that you stop as soon as you are fed up ...
Tonight it's freeze-dried meals: spaghetti / bolognese, a treat!
Day 4 - From Bouillouses lake to the camporells refuge
After the night, we finally decide not to go around the lake to finish the stage of the day before, but rather to make a shorter day and relax at Camporells (it looks so beautiful!).
We therefore take part of the Tour du Capcir, to reach the junction with the Tour des Perics. It is a short day of 3h30 of walking, through the capcir, a gentle unspoiled valley where you can appreciate the wild side and the stroll between small lakes and marshy areas.
We arrive at the Camporells, and there it is love at first sight for me. I literally fell in love with this place and the peace that reigns there.
Camporells © M.Fuster Camporells © M.Fuster
Under the eyes of young and old Puig Pérics, we landed at the edge of the water, on soft grass, surrounded by rhododendrons.
We really took the time to chill, enjoy life: crossword puzzles, reading, siesta… and soak our feet in the deliciously warm water of the lake… Be careful, you can't swim, fishing is a priority.
Above all, in addition to the setting, what touched us the most about the camporells was the family that runs the refuge. The 3 children live in the heart of a nature that they seem to know inside out and are amazingly independent! The guards are kind ... and above all, there, there is a real respect for natural resources, energy autonomy and an awareness of the interest of zero-waste (dry toilets, solar panels ...).
Meals are served in a good mood, and it's delicious! Everything is homemade, right down to the dessert and honey made by Myriam and her hives.
In short, I might as well tell you that after the night there, I had a feeling of immense sadness when I left, so I had a soothing and above all "true" moment, without fuss.
With Antoine, we said to ourselves that we would go back there in winter to go cross-country skiing from Formiguères!
Day 5 - From the Camporells refuge to the Fanguil car park
Last stop on our journey! We set off again on the GR, and we quickly overlook the ponds of the camporels, spread out at the foot of the Puig des Camporells which dominates the whole. The highest point of this stage is the Pic de Mortiers, which probably offers us the best view of these 5 days!
To the north the Eastern Pyrenees, to the west all our Ariège peaks of love ♥️ An immense feeling of pride invades me when I see the beauty of these Ariège mountains! “How beautiful it is with us”.
All along the ridge between the Pic de Mortiers and Puig de Terrers, the peaks are watching us, and it is reciprocal, we do not take our eyes off them. The chamois are walking on our right, as if we weren't there. We redouble our discretion so as not to disturb them. The spectacle that nature offers us is sublime.
We start the descent from the Coll, and there, I start to find the time long… We can clearly see the zigzag lines taking shape in the valley, and we already know that this descent will wear out our knees haha.
It took us 6:30 to go down to the Parking du Fanguil, for my part exhausted. I dream of a good hot shower and a long night's sleep!
Our equipment for this trip:
- 2 bags of 50L
- 1 tent
- 2 duvets
- 2 hiking mattresses
- 3 gourds of 1.5 L
- Cereal bars
- Freeze-dried meals
- Apples (never do that, it was a big mistake on our part !!! I wanted fruit at all costs but apples weigh too much!)
- A change of business
- Flip-flops (that's real life)
- 1 IGN map + map loaded on the phone