Hikes

The Pyrenees 2010: GR10 and GR11

The trail GR 10 runs between the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean ocean on the French side of the Pyrenees and the GR 11 is on the Spanish side. We walked for two weeks on the GR10 in the west of Pyrenees in 2009 read more about that here. We really liked the French side of the Pyrenees and we longed back, but this time we also wanted to try to walk on the Spanish side, on the GR11.

There are some places where you can cross the border by foot and that’s what we did. We started in Cauterets in France and walked to Spain and we walked on the GR11 for eight days before we crossed the border again and walked east back to Cauterets on the GR10.

In France everyone you meet says ” bonjour”,  but in Spain they say ” hola”. In France they call the cottages gite but in Spain it is refuge. We found the difference between the countries interesting. The mountains in Spain are a little higher and tougher, it was steeper,  there was more snow and they were more spectacular. There were less animals and no farm houses that sold cheese as on the French side and we did not pass as many villages. We often get the question which side we like the best– it’s impossible to answer, both are wonderful, just different.


Our travel journals

There are quite a lot of tourists in the mid Pyrenees in both countries. People are biking, doing short walks and long ones. But the nature is so huge you usually don’t meet many people during the day. You find them at the refuges in the evenings. The refuges in Spain are often simple, since they are often up high, far away from  civilization,  there is limited electricity and hot water is a luxury. The food usually tasted good even though we got the same food for three nights in a row, chicken and beans. In some places you could buy some food for cooking like pasta, bread and gas for your stove. To be sure of getting a bed you should call ahead and book, usually it’s enough the night before. We didn’t do that often since we had a tent with us.  You can easily camp outside the refuges or if you want, somewhere else in the wilderness.

The guidebook we used was Trekking in the Pyrenees by Douglas Streatfield-James from Trailblazer. It was good, but we felt it was better for the GR10 than for GR11.

Our trip marked out on Google maps.

More about this later!

 

About Alta Via 1

Alta Via 1 starts at Lago di Braies and ends at Dobiacco. It took us
ten days. But it’s possible to do it in a shorter time or a longer
time. There are a lot of Rifugies on the way , often you can choose to
do a short or a longer day. There are also some alternatives on the
way that you might want to do. We walked down to Cortina on the fourth
day to buy some food and get some money, which took us an extra half
day.

It’s a beautiful trail, you are really spoiled with spectacular views.
There are many people wandering the tracks and in the Rifuges, some of
them are walking Alta Via 1, some of them are doing shorter hikes,
others are climbing, some are day tourists and even germans walking
from Munich to Venice. We were there in the end of July and the
beginning of August, which of course is the most popular period.

It’s not easy to camp, although we met some people who did. Most
people stay at the Rifuges and take the half pension. We slept in the
Rifuges but we also had food with us. We thought the breakfast was
expensive and not worth the price and usually it was only white bread
with jam. We did our own breakfast most of the time. The dinner at the
Rifuges was quite good, pasta, polenta, knödel, Apfelstrudel and
Tiramisu… We also choice to do our own cooking although we didn’t
always have a chose, we had to eat at some places in order to get a
bed. We had to bring all the food we cooked and the gas with us, it’s
not possible to buy food on the way except for maybe bread and
chocolate.

In the beginning we didn’t book the Rifuges but realized after a long
day walking in heavy rain arriving at a full Rifuge, it’s a good idea
to do so, usually it’s enough to call the night before.

In most places we could drink the water from the tap, and in some
places there was drinkable water in the tracks. We only had to buy
water once. The coffee and the beer is great! At most of the Rifuges
you can get espresso and cappuccino. They have Italian Frost and
german Weissbier. The wine is okay and very cheap.

The guidebook we brought was Dolomites Trecking- Alta Via 1: Alta Via 2; second edition 2005 by Henry Stedman. Publisher: Trailblazer Publications. It was ok. However we met a italian man Paulo Cervigni on our way and he is writing a new guidebook that will come out 2012
in english. The map we used was Tabacco 031, 03, 025, 024.

The Pyrenees 2010: Day 1

Cauterets – Graube

We woke up at Hotel Cesar in Cauterets France and went shopping for food. We also stopped by a nice sport store where Ýrr bought a knife and we saw some nice shoes we would have liked to buy but of course we couldn’t do that, we had everything we needed for a two weeks hike (more about those shoes later).  Our plan was to take a bus to Pont d Espagne but it turned out we would’ve had to wait for two hours which we didn’t have patience to do. We decided to hitchhike.  A guy picked us up and drove us to our destination even though it was a extra drive for him. The sun was shining and we started climbing up to La’c de Gaube, a beautiful lake and of course cold as ice.

 


Ýrr by Lac de Graube

We had lunch and rested for a while before we continued. The sun was shining and it was hot. The mountain we climbed was quite steep.

 

We arrived at Refuge des Outlettes de Graube (2151 m) around four thirty. We took a beer in the sun while waiting for the food. This gite was nice as the surroundings but the food was not really impressive. Dishwater soup as a starter, followed by a sausage casserole then cheese and finally lemon pudding. The cheese was good! the rest was eatable. After dinner we sat outside for a while and enjoyed the view. We were really tired and went to bed at nine o’clock .

 


Refuge des Outlettes de Graube

The Dolomites: Day 1

Lago di Braies – Rifugio Sennes


Anna at the start of Alta Via 1, Lago de Braies

We arrived by bus from Dobiacco around 8.30 in the morning to the lake Lago de Braies where the Alta Via 1 trail starts. We were both very exited to get started. We were stunned by the beautiful landscape, the shiny green lake surrounded by the mountains. We walked along the see before we did a long climbing in a stony hill. Part of it was was quite steep and difficult, but there were chains to hold on to.

 


Climbing the first mountain, leaving the Lago de Braies behind us

The sun shined partly and it was hot. When we got close to the top it started drizzling .

 


The weather is changing

On the top ”Forcella Sora Forno” 2388m we looked down on a wonderful valley and we experienced the first panorama view of the trip. It began to rain more and we hurried down to Rifugio Biella.

 


Rif. Biella

We went inside for a coffee/tea and waited for the rain to pass by. When the rain stopped we went outside and had our first lunch of the trip.

 


Bread, tomatoes, ham and parmesan

The view was wonderful and we met some really nice people to talk to.

 


Stefano, Riccardo, Paolo and Anna outside Rif. Biella

Paulo is writing a new guidebook for the Alta Via one. Here he is telling us that he will walk all the way to Venice. Riccardo and Stefano, who are standing in the back, we get to know better in a few days.

We would have loved to stay in this lovely rifugio with the nice people but we found it to early in the day to stop. We walked for about one more hour , easy walk slightly downhill to Rif. Sennes. We arrived around 3 pm and took an Italian Forst (beer) in the sun on the porch.

 


Rif. Sennes, 2126 m, the first night sleep.

In the evening it rained really hard, but we managed to cook a delicious Thai Stew with couscous. Later on the sun started shining and this wonderful rainbow appeared! The rainbow is like a symbol for the weather we had for the whole trip, it was sun and rain every day and sometimes at the same time.

 


Rainbow at Rif. Sennes.

Good night!

 

Day 2

Rifugio Sennes – Rifugio Fanes


In the morning outside the Rif. Sennes, cows and marmots are up

We woke up early in the morning, the sun was shining and we where eager to get started, We made our breakfast on the rifugo balcony and at 8.30 we were ready to begin our second day walk.

 


Ýrr is ready to go

The first part of the day we followed a beautiful path with pine threes and after some time we came to a small ”village” with a small chapel and the Rifuge Fodara Vedla (1980m).

 


Fodra Vedla 

We walked down a road, the view was beautiful but it was a quite boring walk. We met a lot of people coming up from the valley and Rifugio Pederü. When we got down we took some lunch outside Rif. Pederü before we started the climbing up on the other side of the valley.

 


Anna on the road on her way down to Rif. Pederü

 


 On our way up to Rif. Fanes

A few minutes before we reached Rif Fanes we came to a new Rifuge owned by a family, we decided to stay there, we don’t know the name of the place but it was really nice.

 


The Rifuge close by Rif Fanes.

It was still early in the day, we had our second lunch, walked around, and relaxed.

 


Anna reading 

 


Ýrr swinging

We cooked dinner at our rifuge, Risotto with mushrooms. It tasted delicious! After dinner we walked up to Rif. Fanes and had a glass of wine. We met a danish guy who we talked to for while and we talked to Paulo again, the man that is writing the guidebook, sadly it was the last time we saw him. We looked at the sunset before we went back to our rifuge and went to sleep at ten o’clock.

 


A mountain that reminded us of a dinosaur, here in the sunset.

 

Day 3

Rifugio Fanes – Rifugio Dibona


The Mountain Dinosaur early in the morning

Day 3 started with a lovely breakfast at the Rifuge. They served us a wonderful yogurt with honey and we where both happy as children and didn’t save much for the the other guests. We also got some nice homemade bread. We talked a little to two other guests from Rosenthal.

We where packed and ready to leave at 7.30. On our way up our first climb we met one German women with her 10 year old daughter (Regina and Marie). We chatted a bit with them, they where also following Alta Via 1. But unfortunately after this we lost them and we didn’t meet them until the end of our hike. But more about that later.

 

After 15 min climb we came up to a green valley with a lot of rocks and marmots.

 


The marmots are curious but it is hard to get a close photo of them.

We tried to get some nice images of the marmots, but that isn’t an easy task.

 


The glacier Marmolada

The view was always beautiful, but this day was something extra. We saw Marmolada, a glacier with the highest point of the Dolomites (3 400m) Ýrr was really enjoying it since she is used to look at it from the other side during the skiing season.

 

 

At the end of the valley we started to climb up towards a cleft in the mountain. It took us about twenty minutes to reach it and on the other side the cleft was really steep (but not difficult). At the bottom we could see the lake Lago di Lagazoui and we could with our eyes follow the alta via path all the way to the next rifuge, Rif Lagazoui. The stones on the ground were white and the cliff walls were red. It was breathtaking!

 


Ýrr on her way down in the cleft

 


With our new friends Riccardo and Stephano

After a short break we meet Riccardo and Stephano again and we continued the walk together with them. We started climbing again towards Rif. Lagazoui. When we got at the top we decided to continue for some more hours to Rif. Dibona.

 


Anna at the top taking picture of the wonderful view.

We were hungry but it started to rain a little so we decided to continue walking.

 

We walked down towards a new beautiful valley.

 


Lunchbreak

The rain stopped and the sun started to shine again. We took a nice lunch break. And then we continued down to Rif. Dibona. We hadn’t booked beds and we were a little nervous because it was Saturday night and a lot of the rifuges are full in the weekends. But everything went well and we had a really nice evening at the rifugio. We had Pasta, Polenta, Tiramisu and Apfelstrudel for dinner. After dinner we looked at the sunset and went to bed at 10 o’clock, tired and happy after a long and wonderful day of walking.

 


Waiting for dinner at Rif. Dibona

 

Day 4

Rif. Dibona – Rif. Nuvolau

We started the day with a really bad breakfast, dry bread with plastic packaged jam. That kind of breakfast was common at the rifuges so most of the time we made our own. But this morning we wanted to have breakfast with our friends as we had to say goodbye since we would take separate ways from now on.

Our plan for the day was to walk to Cortina and get some money and buy some more food. The walk took us about two hours through a forest and in the end we walked down green sloping fields that are used for skiing in the winter.

 


Walking down the ski slopes to Cortina

It felt strange to walk into a city, we quickly found some food and hurried to the bus station to find a bus that would take us back to the mountains as soon as possible.

The bus driver dropped us at a wrong place so we had to follow a different track to get to Alta Via 1. We lost the trail for a while and ended up at an overgrown forest path, but somehow we where convinced that we would find the right track somehow. After about a hour we found a track it was not the original Alta via 1 track but it would lead to the same destination according to our plan.

The first part was mainly forest. But as we came closer to the top the landscape opened up and the beautiful Dolomitian view appeared. We passed this big rock that was filled with climbers working their way to the top.

 


A beautiful rock filled with climbers

The last part up to Rif. Nuvolau was quite steep.

 


Yrr climbing up to Rif. Nuvolau

 


One of the 360° views from Rif. Nuvolau

Rif Nuvolau seemed to be a popular place for day tourists, we met a lot of people going down, seemed to be a big group of teenagers. But when we finally made it to the top (2575 m) it was around five o’clock and all the day tourists were gone, the place was nice and quiet, only some sleepovers were sitting outside looking at the panorama view.  We loved Nuvolau! it was just a beautiful place on the top of the mountain. It was simple, with no hot water and only cold rainwater to wash yourself with.

 


Rifugio Nuvalou

We got our beds in a small room that we shared with two girls from Holland Chris and Birgitte. We took a cold shower in the rain water. Tired, cold, clean and happy we sat down by the fire in the dining room with our room mates. We ate delicious pasta together and had a wonderful evening talking, playing Yatzee and giggling.

 


Yrr and Birgitte Yatzee arm wrestling  

We didn’t see the sunset that night it was to foggy, but we all agreed on getting up at six o’clock to see the sunrise.

 

Day 5

Rif. Nouvalou – Rif. Staulanza

Waking up at six o’clock to experience the sunrise seemed to be a great idea. It was so beautiful we almost got religious

 


The morning view outside our bedroom window

We made breakfast surrounded by the sunny mountaintops.

 


Making breakfast

We really enjoyed the early morning at this wonderful place. Ýrr did some yoga on the helicopter platform together with the girls that worked at the Rifuge.

 


Morning Yoga, welcoming the sun.


Taking the last look at the view 

We said goodbye to our Dutch friends and left around eight o’clock. The sun was shining and the view was clear. We walked down from the Rifuge and continued around the mountain enjoying the weather and the view.

 


Walking down to a new valley

We walked through a wonderful rocky landscape with a lot of remarkable rocks in different shapes. We had our second breakfast or early lunch around eleven o’clock.

 


A rock

Around two o’clock the weather started to change, it started raining. We were about to eat our lunch but we skipped it and continued walking. About an hour later we came to the Rifuge Cita di Fume, but unfortunately there were no free beds for us! The rain had stopped, we were hungry like dogs. We decided to cook some fresh pasta we had bought in Cortina. In the middle of the cooking process it started to rain again, quite hard but we finished the cooking in the rain. We ate the pasta and went inside to have a hot chocolate (that was more like hot chocolate pudding) while we were thinking of what to do. We decided to continue further down to Rif. Staulanza where we arrived around 5.30 pm really tired and wet.

 


The ski boots warmer, works as good in the summer as it does in the winter.

We didn’t really like Rif. Staulanza, it was by a road, quite big and more like a hotel than a Rif and the shower cost 4 euro. But we had some good food, Tagiatelli with deer.
The rain was poring down the whole night. We went to bed really tired and decided to take it easy the next day.

 

 

Day 6

Rif. Staulanza – Rif. Coldai

We didn’t set the alarm but we woke up at seven o’clock without any help, and ate breakfast at the Rifuge. It was a nice breakfast with yogurt (we like yogurt!). We were slow this morning and didn’t leave until 09.30 am. We were tired after three quite long days of walking. We started in the forest by mostly going down. It was soft and nice. The sun was shining and it was hot. After a little bit more than an hour we came down to a road, with a camping and some hotels, where we found a ski lift. It was a sit lift that would save us 300m of quite boring climbing, we decided to take the lift. It was the first time Anna  took a sit lift in her life. She was a little nervous in the beginning but she did really good.

 


Anna entering a sit lift for the first time in her life.

We continued by foot after the lift, we had to climb 300m further to Rif. Coldai. It was quite steep and really hot.

 


The view we had on our way up

We arrived to the rifuge around one o’clock. It was fully booked and no beds for us, but the guy told us to check in again  around eight o’clock. We made some lunch outside the rifuge, washed our cloths and lied down in the grass, relaxed and enjoyed the wonderful view.

 


Soft afternoon in the grass outside Rif Coldai.

After some hours Ýrrs eyes started itching really badly. We got up from the grass and bought a glas of wine and sat outside the Rif.

 


A glas of wine outside the Rifuge Coldai

But Ýrrs eye didn’t stop itching, it tuned out she had a big blister in her eye, probably some kind of allergic reaction.

 


Ýrrs one eyed evening

We went inside to get out of the sun, Anna nursed the eye patient and we played some cards.
After a while we went outside again and cooked dinner at the helicopter plateau. We made a lentil stew with a lot of different spices and cream. It tasted really, really good!

 


Cooking at the helicopter plateau

Luckily some people that had booked beds didn’t show up and we got two beds in a room we shared with 15 people. After dinner we played some more cards and looked at the sunset.

 

We put our earplugs in and went to bed at 9.30pm.

 

Day 7

Rifugio Coldai – Rifugio Vazzoler

We woke up at six o’clock when almost everybody in our room got up. There were a lot of climbers in a hurry to climb some mountaintops. We got up and made breakfast outside the rifuge, packed our stuff and were off around eight o’clock.

 


Rifugio Coldai early in the morning

We were above the clouds and the sun was shining. Ýrrs eye was better at least she could use it with some help from sunglasses. We walked up to a beautiful lake.

 

 

 

 

We continued along the mountain, enjoying the view and the weather. We had our second breakfast in the grass.

 

 

Like often the landscape reminded us of the Wild West.

 

 

When we were getting close to the Rifuge we saw a sign that told us that if we did a 30 min extra walk to this farmers house called Malga Pelsa we could buy cheese and ham. Since we both love cheese there was no question about visiting this farmers house. We were so happy! A women and her daughter welcomed us and the woman let us taste the cheese and the ham. It was delicious!

 

 

We left the house with Käse und Späck in our bags and walked for about ten minutes before we sat down in the grass and had lunch. Happiness!
We were only 30 minutes from Rifuge Vazzoler and when we got there it was only two o’clock. We still had a lot of energy and wanted to walk further but we found the next rifuge a little to far away so we decided to stay. We got our own small room with a bunk bed.

 

 

We had a shower, washed our cloths and took a walk in the Alpine Garden outside the Rifuge. After looking at the Alpine flowers we sat down at a table and talked with two climbers from Poland for a while and played some cards before we cooked dinner Risotto with vegetables and ham. We also made some Bulgur for tomorrows lunch. After dinner we went inside and played some more cards, outside the rain had started to pour down, the thunder shook the rifuge and the lightning lighted up the dark sky.

 

Day 8

Riffugio Vazzoler – Passo Duran

We woke up at six o’clock and left the rifuge two hours later, it was raining and we thought this would become a wet day, but very soon the weather changed and it turned into a nice and sunny day. We walked the first part in zick-zack along the mountain and then down in ravines and up and down and up… The rocks in the ravines where white almost like snow.

 


Looking back on the zick-zack road down from the Rif. Vazzoler

We sat down in one ravine and ate some Bulgur.

 


Anna eating lunch and looking at the map

 

 


Ýrr is camouflage

We continued walking for a couple of hours before we came to Rifugio Carestiato. Some people were sitting outside relaxing and eating lunch. It was around one o’clock, the sun was shining and it was really hot. We sat down for a while and had some peanuts. We would have liked to stay at this rifuge but we found it to early to stop for the day.  We decided to continue to Rif. Passo Duran. This day we kept on meeting two nice French guys that we had a couple breaks with and spoke to. They were sleeping in a tent, they were actually the only ones we met that had brought a tent.

 


Chatting, drinking and washing.

We arrived at Rif. Passo Duran around three o’clock in the afternoon. We were a little disappointed though the guidebook was so happy about this place but is was stationed by a asphalt road.

Oh well, it turned out to be a nice place despite the asphalt. We got a room with six beds for ourselves with a little porch outside. We washed our cloths, sat  down outside and looked at all the bikers on motorbikes or bicycles that stopped by.

 


Anna sitting on our ”porch” at rif. Passo Duran

We ate really salty food Spagetti Carbonara and meatballs with polenta. We drank red wine and giggled through the night.

 

Day 9

Passo Duran – Rifugio Pian De Fotana

We got up at seven o’clock and made some breakfast on our ”porch”. We left an hour and half later, our plan was to walk a half stage to Rif. Sommariva al Pramperet.

 

 

We started out on the asphalt road, but it was only for a short while, soon we turned into the wood and some time later we were in the ”wild west”.

 

 

We came to an empty house with water source outside. There were some people sitting there eating and we did the same and of course we drank the cold and fresh water.

The sun was shining but around twelve the weather changed and the clouds started taking over the sky. We came to Rif. Sommariva around one o’clock and found it way to early to stop.

 

 

The weather was really unstable, it was fog and we saw nothing but some minutes later it was clear and then fog again…

 


Sun on one side and fog on the other

It stared to rain, but we didn’t let the weather stop us, we took us to the top!

 


Anna climbing to the top

The view from the top Forcella de Zita Sud (2451m) was of course beautiful, as always in the Dolomites, that part was never disappointing. We enjoyed being above 2000 m aware of this was the last time, from now on we would only go down.

 


At the top

We started to walk down, the weather was still unstable. We ate some bread and cheese in the grass and saw some marmots and deers. The hill was quite steep and we were tired. The ground was wet and slippery. We arrived at Rif. Pian De Fontana at five o’clock and at that time it was raining quite heavily.

 

 


Rif. Pian De Fontana

It was a nice Rifuge, we sat down in the dining room by the fire and relaxed . We talked to a group of single walkers that had been walking from Munich and were going all the way to Venice.  We ate pasta and gulash for dinner at the rifuge and after dinner the rain had stopped, we went outside looked at the wonderful view and the sunset. We slept in an attic that we shared with six other people, it was crowded but we slept good anyway, used to no comfort. Around 4 o’clock it started to rain really hard and it kept us all a wake until morning.

 

 

Day 10

Rifugio Pian De Fotana -La Pissa – Belluno

When the alarm went of it was still poring down outside, we slept for one more hour and then the rain had stopped. We got up and made breakfast outside the rifuge and said bye to everybody when they left.

 

 

We were the last ones to leave the place. We had to take an alternative track since the main track is a really difficult one and you need some climbing equipment. The track we chose led us to La Pissa down by the road and from there we were supposed to take a bus according to the guide book. We walked down most of the time. After a little more than two hours we came to Rif. Bianchet, we sat down outside were some of the people we had said bye to earlier this morning were sitting. We bought the first and the last Fanta of the trip. It tasted delicious, it’s unbelievable how good soda tastes in the mountains, it’s dangerously delicious. We made some soup with vegetables for lunch. We left with the hope that we would be able to catch a bus from La Pissa at one o’clock. We walked down a beautiful dirt road in a valley that looked a little different from the other valleys we had walked in.

 

 

We had started the day at 1632 m and we ended the walk of Alta Via one at La Pissa 453m.

 


Taking the last step of Alta Via 1 together

When we finally came down to the road we realized we had just missed the bus! We decided to hitchhike, we stood with our thumbs up in the air when a black Landrover with a couple and two dogs stopped and offered us a lift. They were not going all the way to Belluno but these nice people took us there anyway. When we were walking around the town looking for tourist information and a place to sleep, we ran into Renate and her daughter Mari the Germans we had met in the beginning of our trip.  They recommended this new Bed and Breakfast that were owned by the son of the owner of Rifugio Bianchet we had passed earlier up in the mountains. We walked there and got a really nice bedroom with nice view and it was new and fresh. Outside there was big porch. There were only three bedrooms at this place, Renate and Marie had one room, Jenny and John a couple from Wales we also had ran into in the mountains were also staying at this place. We all decided to go out together and have a pizza in the evening. It was a nice evening with a lot of talking about mountains and hiking.

 


At the pizza place with John, Anna, Renate, Marie and Jennie (Ýrr is busy taking this picture)

We all went to bed before ten o’clock as we were used to.

 

The Pyrenees 2010: Day 2

Graube – Torla

We woke up at 6.15 and had breakfast at the gite, old white bread and jam. We packed our stuff and left at 7.45. It started with a heavy climb where the last part was covered in snow.

 


Ýrr heading for Spain, almost there, we just have to walk in some snow first

When we came to the top we were on the boarder to Spain. The view was beautiful in both directions. No pass control. We rested for some minutes and enjoyed the view.

 


Taking a rest at the boarder looking back at France.

We started to walk down the Spanish valley.

 


Looking at Spain from the top and the border.

After about ten minutes we left the trail and walked down the green valley looking for the GR11 trail. We followed a small river hoping we were on the right track. We had lunch around two o’clock and shortly after we found the track GR11. We continued walking down the valley and as so often in the mountains the weather started changing in the afternoon, it got cloudy.

After quite a long walk we came to a road to follow. We were really tired, it started raining and we wished we had arrived at the refuge.

 

It was like someone heard our wish, a family in a Landrover drove by and offered us a lift. It was quite unrealistic since there were no other cars around at all. We got into the back of the car and we decided to go to Torla, a small village a little out of the track.

 


Sitting in the back of the Landrover, together with a nice family

We thanked the family for the lift and checked into Recidence Briet in the centre of Torla. We went shopping for food  and then we had Tapas for dinner.

 


Torla

Afterwards we walked around to find a nice bar that would show the finals in the world championship in football that was on this evening. We found the place, everybody were there, everybody! we watched the final Spain-Holland on a big screen TV. The atmosphere was great and Spain won 1-0 which brought happiness to town and everybody celebrated even the four dutch people that were in the bar.

 


Watching the final, Anna is really enthusiastic! The women in behind gave us a lift the next day.

We were really tired and went to bed with a smile on our lips. The party went on out in the streets but it didn’t stop us from falling asleep.

 

The Pyrenees 2010: Day 3

Torla – Goriz

We woke up at 7.30, packed our stuff and made breakfast outside the refuge. Our plan was to take a bus to the parking lot were the canyon Ordesa national park starts. But it turned out that the bus stop was not in use anymore. We hitchhiked instead.

 


Waiting for a car

A car stopped with three women, they recognized us from the bar the night before. They took us to the entrance to Ordessa. We started walking for about two hours on a road going upwards before we came to the parking lot some buses passed us but they didn’t stop. We were at the parking lot around lunch and we bought an ice cream Magnum Gold. We started out by walking quite fast, there were mainly forest in the beginning but after a while we passed some wonderful waterfalls.

 


Anna in the canyon and in the forest looking down at the river

 


Waterfall in Ordessa

After about two hours we were really hungry and sat down on a rock and had lunch.

 


Drinking fresh water

After lunch the forest became less dense and the canyon more visible. Very beautiful! We saw a lot of flowers and we saw one Lis des Pyrenées a flower we’d looked for, but without success, on our walk the year before.

 


Lis des Pyrénées (finally!)

We came to the end of the canyon late in the afternoon, we sat down by the river, enjoyed the view discussed if we should put up a tent, or continue, which meant climbing for another 1,5 hour.

 


Ordesa National Park

We decided to continue even if we were really tired. It was hard, but somehow we always find the energy when we have made a decision, the beautiful view in the mountains is always refreshing and here it was incredible beautiful!

 


Climbing up to Goriz



Allmost at the top, looking down in to the valley of Ordesa

We arrived at Refugio Goriz (2200 m) around seven.

 


Outside Refuge Goriz

We started to cook dinner but it didn’t go very well, it turned out our stew was broken. We were tired and hungry and after a couple of hours of struggling we borrowed a stove from some people. We made some Thai stew with couscous and ate dinner at ten o’clock.

 


Anna trying to cook

Because there were no free beds for us we’d put up our tent outside the refuge.

 


Our tarp-tent in the sunset

After dinner we had a glass of wine at the refuge before we went to sleep.

 

Mountainhikers