Monday, 2 November 2009

Hikes, Rope Climbing & Log Throwing in the Pyrenees

We have just returned from another week in the Pyrenees, during which we enjoyed fabulous weather for the time of year. We stayed at the same place as we did in July, when I did some swims, sprints and hikes .

This time it was a working holiday - we were looking after the animals who also live at the place where we stay. You can read more about that in this post on Pay Now Live Later.

During the breaks between animal duties, Mrs M and I did two good hikes and I did some rope climbing, log throwing and sprinting, which were captured on video.
Walk 1
We walked from the Col de Soulor to the Lac de Soum and back (Google map satellite pic.) This did not involve more than a couple of hundred metres of elevation, but was a good warm up for the holiday, nevertheless. We were walking for about 2 hours.

This is a shot of the valley from the first part of the walk followed by a view (I think) over to the plain beyond the Pyrenees to the West . We encountered these horses on our travels: (they were not wild - they had bells on.) Here are a couple of further photos from the walk - an impressive rock field between the path and a ridge and an arty one of me waiting for Mrs M .
Rope Climbing
The next day I did some rope climbing. The video of this is shown in the newly added rope-climbing exercise post. I did this a few times during the day, more as play than as a workout - the swing in the video is located in the grounds of the apartment, so it was difficult to resist regularly using it because I don't have equipment like this at home or in my gym.
Walk 2 + Impromptu Hill Sprint
Later in the week we did another hike starting from the Col du Soulor, this time heading South. We ascended a few hundred metres then walked along a ridge (you can see this on the same Google map) in the foothills of a much larger peak, then descending to return to the starting point.

I did some gratuitous ridge scrambling at one point (this was actually quite narrow and Mrs M was not keen on the idea, so she stuck to photo duty) . There was a pleasant stream running through a gully we later passed across: , and once again we met some horses: .

On the way back I spotted a short but steep grassy slope that looked perfect for a one-off all-out dash. The photo doesn't do it justice. It was steep. I managed about two thirds at a full run before the steep gradient started to induce leg jelly, at which point I just hiked as fast as I could. It took about two minutes and was probably at about 80% max speed.

We were walking for about 2 hours.

When we got back, I captured this superb shot of the autumn colours from close to our apartment:
Throw, Sprint, Climb
Inspired by the rope climbing earlier in the week and looking for something to give me an all-round workout, I hit on the idea of a sequence of movements that involved all the major muscle groups and somehow made sense as a Primal/Paleo exercise. The result was a log throw, a sprint and rope climb - there is a video of it in the Throw, Sprint and Climb exercise post.

There is a hot tub at the apartments: . However, when this has not been heated in preparation, this is a very coooold tub. I did a couple of plunges into this after the workout .
I was fasting on some of the days, so there was not always post-workout nutrition; and I can't remember which meals were after which workout... but since the workouts were always in the morning, here are the breakfasts and lunches I took photos of: .

Those who follow me on Twitter will be familiar with the usual egg and tinned fish-focused fayre - convenience at the expense of variety.

That said, you can also see the last breakfast was leftover lamb steak and fried eggs - very tasty and a welcome departure from habit.


Lightning said...

Sounds like a great break . Like the videos M. A bit like Ross Em's never gymless .