|One of les Capitelles near Couiza|
Our walk began in Couiza, a small town about 8km from our campsite, where we parked behind La Poste (the post office). After a quick diversion to find a boulangerie (bakery) we were off. The route started by passing through the Les Oliviers area of town and was a gentle-ish uphill along a residential road and past a Maison de Retraite (retirement home). Looking back over Couiza and into the distant mountains we caught our first glimpse of snow for this trip. If you click or zoom in to the photo below, you might just about be able to make it out on the skyline almost directly above the tiny Dave!
|Looking back over Couiza to the Pyrenees|
Once we had turned off the main road through Couiza, our path was clearly marked all the way with yellow stripes and sometimes with Les Capitelles arrow signs. It intertwined with a VTT mountain bike cycling route except that walkers were directed off-road as much as possible so we often strolled along the edges of vineyards or through serene pine copses. We weren't sure that the markers took us exactly on the route shown on the map (at the end of this post) because we twice passed by the Chapelle de Saint Alain at Coustaussa. This is a great lunch spot because not only is there are large stone table and bench seats, but anyone who is a bit bored can play music on the table! It's a bit like a steel drum so tapping different places creates slightly different notes. We thought the sound creation might somehow be the result of how the large stone slab was balanced on its pedestal, but there wasn't a handy expert around to ask!
|Capitelle hut near Couiza|
|Les Capitelles randonee map|