Flight: Spain, Andorra, France: Bagneres de Luchon, Pyrenees

Flight path taken. Pause below for a word salad before the rest of the photos.
Bagneres de Luchon Flight Path

My autistic fixation with linear blogging is now totally ruined. Infrared images, daily flying for most of the summer, and now this damn independence movement have ruined any semblance of compulsive order that I previously enjoyed while posting my venomous rants. I suppose I will create some grand fusion of all prior methods and bastardize subject, theme, and imagery.

The independence thing drags on and on and on. I should have known that Spanish and Catalan culture avoids commitments and binary outcomes, favoring nagging, pressure, manipulation, false presentation of facts, drama, finger pointing, taking offense….. I am tired writing about it. Yes, we have our lovely little apocalyptic revolution backup plan, and I have suddenly hit an emotional wall about the whole thing. I couldn’t really give a hoot what happens. Show me some tanks, guns, and civil unrest and I might start caring again.

Yes, tomorrow the central government proclaims it will invoke Article 155, though the latest plan is to use a more surgical implementation of powers, calling a regional snap election in January instead of a Francoist smack down (again), where they rollout martial law and try to scare everyone with a show of force. Here is my free political consulting wisdom about this snap election idea: it will likely irritate the Catalans, creating a larger representation in Catalan Parliament that wants independence. One would think members of the same nation could understand how not to get the worst possible outcome with their fellow citizens, though wait a minute….American politics….never mind.

As for the flight on this post, it has nothing to do with the referendum or any current events. I took it in June, a rather monumentally long jaunt across the Pyrenees, with my first landing in France since the flight down from Germany. Bagneres-de-Luchon is not an easy field to fly into as the circuit is extremely tight, and there is the fact that nobody told me there would be 15 gliders, airplanes, and paragliders swirling around like gnats. Nobody spoke English, of course, so I just wedged in and landed the plane and that was that. After a bunch of mutually unintelligible grunting, and after finishing with refueling, I discovered many of them spoke Spanish. Go figure.

I would label all of these….but does anyone really care? This is the French side of the Pyrenees.
Bagneres (1 of 44)

Infrared camera.
Bagneres (2 of 44)

White peak on the center horizon is in Spain, highest peak in the Pyrenees: Aneto.
Bagneres (3 of 44)

Same mountain, different camera.
Bagneres (4 of 44) Bagneres (5 of 44) Bagneres (6 of 44) Bagneres (7 of 44) Bagneres (8 of 44) Bagneres (9 of 44) Bagneres (10 of 44)

I came uncomfortably close to a paraglider here at 10,000 feet!
Bagneres (11 of 44) Bagneres (12 of 44)
Bagneres (13 of 44)

Heading toward Monte Perdido, Spain.
Bagneres (14 of 44) Bagneres (15 of 44)

I should have some trepidation about engine failure, and I don’t care. Its very calming up there, despite not-so-calm wind.
Bagneres (16 of 44)

Wedged in a tiny spot between the Monte Perdido restricted area and the French national park restricted area. 
Bagneres (17 of 44) Bagneres (18 of 44)

Monte Perdido. Local lore has it that Guardia Civil sit in there with cameras waiting for airplanes to break the rules so they can send them tickets.
Bagneres (19 of 44)

Back in the land of Emmanuel Macron.
Bagneres (20 of 44) Bagneres (21 of 44)

That is pretty badass, and I just flew most of it!
Bagneres (22 of 44) Bagneres (23 of 44) Bagneres (24 of 44)

Regular camera battery quit and I am not in the mood to reach for the bag as I have to urinate like a racehorse.
Bagneres (25 of 44)

Back in the air again. Pico Aneto on the horizon.
Bagneres (26 of 44) Bagneres (27 of 44)

Catalonia, Spain, and France visible in this image.
Bagneres (28 of 44)

Now back in Spain. This little section of Catalonia did NOT vote heavily for independence.
Bagneres (29 of 44) Bagneres (30 of 44)

Same mountains, different camera. East side of Aigüestortes. For anyone that wishes to tattle on me, I was outside this restricted zone.
Bagneres (31 of 44) Bagneres (32 of 44) Bagneres (33 of 44) Bagneres (34 of 44) Bagneres (35 of 44) Bagneres (36 of 44) Bagneres (37 of 44) Bagneres (38 of 44)

“Mountains. See one, seen them all.” So says some of my beloved and encouraging family.
Bagneres (39 of 44)

Vall d’Aran
Bagneres (40 of 44)

La Seu d’Urgell
Bagneres (41 of 44)

Bagneres (42 of 44)

Bagneres (43 of 44) Bagneres (44 of 44)