It was the morning of 24th December when I arrived at the car park, ready for a snowy climb. I was the first weirdo there, all the other sane Christmas hikers were still in their warm beds, which was a smart idea since my thermometer in the car was showing -12 degrees Celcius.
hikes in December
When the three of us stopped to take our 101st break of the day, desperate to get a few drops of water from our near empty bottles, I gazed over towards the northeast and there lied this giant mass of rocky earth. “That’s Girdlestone,” I murmured almost silently, partly because I had little energy left, partly as I knew clearly my friends had this same voice in their mind: “last big climb!”
The Cathar Way is a roughly 240 km hike in the south of France, one of my favourite places in the world. It follows the historical sites of the Cathars through the Eastern foothills of the Pyrenees, passing through villages with stone houses often at least a few centuries old.