Day 12: August 24th: From Salardú to Estany d’Airoto

First day on my own, a little bit strange to suddenly walk by yourself and I will miss my dear company. But at least we got some really nice days on the trail together. I took the bus from Viela around 7 so I got a nice an early start from Salardu.

Walking on a dirtroad
Dead pine three standing in the lake Estany de Baix de Baciver
Perfect place for a short break at Estany de Baix de Baciver
Another lake, Estany de Dalt de Baciver
At the lac I filtered some water before the demanding climb up to Tuc Marimanha. Demanding as it was very rocky, steep and no path what so ever, you couldn’t even trust the GPX trail, you really needed to understand the terrain and figure out on your own how best to do the climb.
Looking back at the lakes, Estany de Dalt de Baciver
Looking back at the lakes, Estany de Dalt de Baciver
Steep boulder climb
At first it went well and I climbed very methodically and it seemed that I was on the right track but I probably lost my focus and came too high up and then it was absolutely impossible to reach the right position. I had to turn back down and as it was very steep I was not keen in doing so. I was very close to a ridge so I decided to head up there and if I was lucky I could join the trail from there. But no, here I should have turn back but instead I continued down the valley, thinking I could make a shortcut. (there is no shortcuts in the mountains) It was steep, very steep and after a while I regret my decision but continued anyway.
Steep boulder field
Gigantic boulder field
Down in the valley I had to cross a field with rocks, big rocks, it was dawn hard. From above and on my photo the field looks easy and flat. At this point I was quite angry at myself.
Lake Estany dels plans
After some time I reached a lake, it was a nice lake, Estany dels Plans and I would have stopped for the night if I weren’t off track.  I continued and finally I could see the lake Estany d’Arioto, there I would be able re-join the trail again.
The lake Estany d'Arioto
After a very steep descend I finally reached the refuge Arioto. I had hoped to stay inside as I was so tired but it was already full. I made some supper and decided to head on even though there were plenty of places for a tent outside off the refuge but I wanted to make sure to get some sleep so I needed a more quieter place.
My tarptent

After a 30-minute walk I found a spot for my tent. I slept really well that night.