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Hiking

Madre summit

We drive to Col de Jau pass for the second time. No clouds today. The pass is some 14km drive from Mosset. We start to walk at 8am to Caillou refuge. The track follows the country road to and a little bit after the Caillou. Further the path goes through woody terrain full of rhododendrons and other beautiful flowers. When the path leaves the wood, the cold wind gets more power and we have to take on the windbreakers.

We are not alone on the path – we count some 20 other hikers and 5 wild goats. Madre summit is 2461m high. A gorgeous view to the neighboring summits from the top. The next one is Roc Negre (the Black Cliff). We conquer this one as well.

We reach home at early afternoon. Take bath and have lunch and then off to Villefranche for the St. Johns feast. The feast begins at 8pm when one lights the main torch. Then children come with the smaller torches and light them from this main one. The children then go with the burning torches in a march around the town. This does not look safe at all. The fire drops down from the torches and an old lady just shakes the hand and says “dangerous”. Time passes when the torch procession is back. Then the bonfire is lit and the feast proceeds.

We drive to look what happens in Vernet les Bains. When we get there we see that in the main square the bonfire is already burning and the children with torches march around the bonfire. The dance band is playing, the host sings and talks. The songs are in French and English, people dance. We watch and listen for a while and then proceed to our village. There are two bonfires in Fillols. Children are jumping over the smaller one. Near the bonfires tables are served. Food and drinks in abundance. About 30-40 villagers are there – a lot of people for the small village.

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