Along the Footsteps of the Past

4

Les | Bausen | Les

Technical data

Diffficulty: Moderate

Type: Hiking

Distance: 8,3 km

Time: 3h 20′

Elevation: 310m

Description

The itinerary passes through shepherding land, between retaining walls and barns which appear in hidden corners and makes one remember the life in times past of the Aran Valley. The path travels through old oaks and thick forests full of a variety of vegetation. The “Guardader de Vernet” surprises with its excellent panoramic view of the Baish (lower) Aran and its image of the saint hidden in a log as well as its refreshing river in the Bausen ravine. The peculiar village of Bausen where it seems as if time doesn’t pass is worth a visit. Following the village you will certainly enjoy the magnificent fields of the Era Lana de Les.

Detailed Route:

Starting point is the town hall square of Les. Go to the N-230 highway in direction to France until finding the asphalted road on the left before the hostel. At the crossroads you will follow the GR-211-2 towards Bausen. Further along the road splits and you will continue to the left looking for the GR marks which indicate a rock cobbled path which goes up and zig -zags between retaining walls, fields and barns. After passing two buildings and an animal trough you will continue along the path which goes up to the left until reaching another crossing. Follow this to the right in the direction of Bausen and shortly you will reach the “Guardader de Vernet”. Continue along a narrower trail which flanks the mountain. Soon you will re-enter the forest and arrive to the Bausen ravine. Continue until you reach the next crossing and then travel along the forest trail to the right until reaching Bausen. From the San Pere street take the Santa Eulària street which goes to the right and after take the path which goes down to the left to then depart the village. To the right you will see the Santa Anna chapel. Continue down the path which crosses the road to Bausen on two occasions. Upon arriving to the N-230 highway cross it and take the local road until you cross the Garona River. You will return to Les along the GR-211 passing by the San Blai chapel and the old Les Baths.

Recommendations:

The Haro Square in Les and the Hot Springs of Baronia.

Curiosities:

The tradition of the burning of “The Haro” in Les continues today. In this ceremony a large log opened with wedges is stood upright in the square with its same name (Haro). This is done in honour of Saint Peter adding a flower wreath to the log. The following year the Haro is burned the night of Saint John during a grand annual party. Long ago the roofs were made with straw. They had a thickness of up to 80 cm which became a good insulator in the winter. In addition to breathing well this straw helped in the conservation of the grass inside the barn. It could last up to 45 years. The steps which were normally oriented to the north or east had the function of protecting the grass from the wind and rain and they permitted rooftop access for maintenance and fire prevention. Fires were the principal cause of the change of the rooftop materials of the Aranese houses at the end of the XIX century going from straw to slate.