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.

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


Day 11


We had two more days before we were supposed to be in Venice. We decided to stay one day in Belluno at our nice Bed and Breakfast.


The view from our room in Belluno

We were not tired of walking. We went on a little day trip up in the mountain to a rifuge above Belluno. It was a nice walk and we met two women we asked for the way and they were really nice, they walked with us for a wile and talked. We had a Fanta at the rifuge before we walked down to the city of Belluno.



We really liked Belluno, very beautiful and nice town. We had ice cream and Bellinis at the square . Walked around, looked at churches. In Belluno there are many restaurants and coffee places.



We had Risotto and wine at a restaurant in the evening surrounded by Italian families gathering for Sunday dinner.


Day 12

Belluno – Jesolo

We woke up at six o’clock and had some breakfast. Regine came to say goodbye and we changed addresses. We took bus at 7 o’clock and about two hours later we arrived in Jesolo. We were about to walk the last track of Munich – Venice trail.

We walked down to the beach, it felt strange, it was really hot and crowded with people in beachwear. We felt a little misplaced.


Two hikers on the beach

We started walking along the beach.


Ýrr on her way to Venice

After a while we crossed the peninsula to the other side. The landscape reminded us of Holland. We passed a lot of cultivations. Fruits, vegetables and corn were growing big.

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Anna on her way to Venice

After a couple of hours we crossed the peninsula again and went for a swim at the beach in the warm see. We kept on walking and actually this turned out to be the toughest day of the whole trip. Even though it was flat. But it was really hot, we walked almost non stop for eight hours and for the last three hours we walked on asphalt which is hard for the body when you have 11 kg on your back. We passed plenty of campings most of them filled with huge caravans. We walked to the end of Jesolo and found a really nice camping very close to were the ferry to Venice leaves. We put up the tent, took a shower and went to a restaurant to eat. We were really tired and hungry but happy and proud of our selfs.


Anna at our camping home

We ate and went to bed with hurting bodies.

The Pyrenees GR 10

The trail GR 10 runs between Hendaye by the Atlantic ocean and Banyuls-sur-Mer by the Mediterranean ocean on the French side of the Pyrenees. It is divided into three sections the west, the middle and the east.  It takes about five weeks to walk the entire length.  You can choose to  walk only a section depending on how much time you have and what part you are interested in. We decided to start at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. A lot of people start their walk from there but most of them are on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain , making the famous pilgrimage. But we walked in the other direction, following GR10 going west. It was beautiful and alternating. We found it difficult and were always really tired in the evenings, but this was our first longer hike in the mountains and we didn’t really know what to expect.  I don’t think we would find this as difficult today.

This part of the GR10 is not really touristic, we didn’t really meet tourists other than the ones that were doing the GR10. There is a gite (cottage) in the end of every stage were you can sleep. You can also sleep in a tent near the gite but it is also permitted to set up a tent in the wilderness. It’s possible to have dinner in the gites, then everybody eats the same food together. The food was really tasty most of the time and it can be a nice social thing to do sometimes. Often there is a kitchen in the gite if you prefer to cook your own food.  If you put your tent outside the gite you pay less but you can still use the facilities. Some nights you spend in small villages where you can buy some food in a store. At some gites you could buy some food like bread, pasta and gas for your stove.

We didn’t find the breakfast at the gites appealing, most of the time it was only bread and jam, we made our own breakfast most of the time. You can always buy coffee at the gites, but the quality wasn´t always good. The wine, on the other hand, always tasted good. We really loved  the farm houses we passed quite often on this trip where you can buy cheese.



Water was never a problem, there was fresh water everywhere in the gites and we often passed small streams while hiking.



The guidebook we used was Trekking in the Pyrenees

by Douglas Streatfield-James from Trailblazer, we really liked it and we can really recommend it, you find everything you need to know in this book written in a personal way.

More about this trip will soon be out!


The Pyrenees 2009: Day 3

Chatlet Pedro – Logibar

Bad weather day. We got up quite late but we felt good despite the rain.

Someones leftovers

After about two hours of walking slightly upwards Anna found some berries she wanted to pick, she climbed up on on a rock, but the rock was wet and slippery and she felt on her face. She cut her cheek quite badly and the blood gushed. We didn’t have adhesive plasters or desinfectants. Really stupid but we blame it on that we were  beginners.  We didn’t really know what to do, but suddenly from out of nowhere three French guys passed by! Some days we didn’t meet anyone while we were walking. The guys stopped and took out their first aid kit and nursed Anna. Thank God! We call them the three angels.



Anna after her accident

Anna was a little chocked and she was not feeling very well. We walked for about an hour before we came to Chatlet d’Iraty a restaurant in a small skiing resort. We sat down and ate three dishes for lunch, salad, beef and cheese. It was raining outside and we took it slowly. We decided to take a shortcut to Larrau. We started by walking downhill, after a while we almost took the wrong track, but we were lucky even this time, we met a couple that were coming back after two hours on the wrong track.


We turned around and continued through a really nice valley.


We were tired when we came to the small village Larrau. We bought some food in the store and then we decided to continue for 3 more km to Logibar in the bottom of the valley.



We arrived really late I think it was about 7 pm. The auberge had a big kitchen and we warmed up our leftovers from the night before. The kitchen was full of people, almost all the people we had met the passed days were there (except for the three angels, they were going the opposite direction). We ate our food and talked to the people. It was a nice evening but we were really tired. We went to bed early our bodies were hurting and we were both thinking that we would have to take a day of the next day. We didn’t sleep very well. We were in pain.



My forth backpack (AK06)

For our long hike this summer, I have created a new backpack. As we will be away for four month I decided to use a bit stronger fabric that I used before. two of my sack uses silnylon which I think would work just fine but it might have needed more maintenance and carefullness so it felt more safe to go for stronger this time. the fabric I choose to use is xxxx. it is not just strong it is also water resistant and I also like the look of it, crossing white stripes on black. the negative side of it, it’s also more heavy than silnylon.

this version is based on my last one that I made for my boyfriend but with some adjustments. one major change is that I am using a frame to give it more support, for my back but I also believe it support itself when carrying heavy loads, which is not my intention but I think there will be times I will have to carry some extra food, water or anything.

the frame is in aluminum that I got at gossamer. I had an idea to built it myself. but I don’t have a workshop to do this kind of things and I wanted to concentrate on the pack construction instead so I went for a well tested frame. so far it seem working really well.

I really like building my own pack, it gives me a thrill but also a controll of my own gear. I can make it to fit my needs and get it comfortable to carry. this is very important to me and nothing i want to neglect. i think some really light weight packs, at least to me, they seems not to be so comfortable as mine an most of them are missing some support i have added. and still my packs are really light accept maybe from this last one, xxxx. But still If I would by a light pack in the store it would be at least the double in weight.

The pack is also very light compare it to if I would buy it from a normal store.

Day 3: Auburg to Le Bonhomme 

We made some breakfast in the garden, the chickens kept us company. The old lady gave us some apples from the garden. 

Again we mostly walked through forest, but this day we now and then got some nice views between the threes. We came up to the top of Pierre des Trois Bans, and had a really nice view over two valleys. 

Down below there was a shelter, a couple was camping there. 

We continued our walk up on the ridge for a little while before heading down through some cow fields. 

We came down to the small village Le Bonhomme, it was quite, siesta time. Only some kids tried to get our attention by throwing small charcoals at us though their window while we where sitting outside of the church.

We walked up the hill to the gite and camping, it looked nice so we decided to stay.

Two older men arrived a bit later, they had walked all the way from Ribbaeauville, rather impressive in their age. They told us that they walked many trails together, Alta via and in the Pyrenees, 

We found a nice place for our tent. We made some dinner, couscous and tomato sauce, home dried. Again nice food with some nice Riesling that we had bought in the village.

During the night we had some thunder and rain.

Skåneleden: Brösarp-Agusa; Agusa-Verkasjö; Verkasjön-Heinge; Heinge-Lövestads åsar

Bild från Skåneleden

Summer 2016 Christer and I (Anna) made a two days hike on the Skåneleden, a nice trail system in our neighborhood, 1000 kilometers divided into five separate trails, with 89 sections.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trekking in Time

Hrafnkell Sigur∂sson, Untitled, 2000, photo

Ystads konstmuseum
3 September – 13 November 2016

Trekking in Time is an international group exhibition that gathers and presents art works by artists that have worked with hiking from different perspectives. It shows works that are both historical and contemporary. It can be works where the artists have used hiking as an action, artistic expression or as a performance.

Participating artists: Marina Abramovic/Ulay, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Hamish Fulton, Gittan Jönsson, Christina Kubisch, Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen, Richard Long, Tisha Mukarji, Hrafnkell Sigurðsson, Fredrik Strid.

Curators: Yrr Jónasdóttir and Anna Kindvall

Where: Ystad Art Museum, Sweden or visit www.kindvall.net

Image: Hrafnkell Sigur∂sson, Untitled, 2000, photo

Day 8: 19 August: Refugio Belagua to Lescun

The weather was still not pleasant in the morning, still grey and cloudy. This morning we had some difficulties in keeping the mood up. Things didn’t get better when we after half an hour realised that we where following the wrong trail. The correct trail were parallel so we decided to cross the field instead of going back, we had to do some climbing and we were a bit frustrated for a while. Finally we found the trail and there we bumped in to Eva and Dara, who we met yesterday and we walked together with them for a while. The sun appeared and decided to stay and things felt so much better again.

Anika enjoying the sun

We walked through a stony, barren and overwhelming landscape. We saw Marmots and Izards.

We had lunch with Eli, Eva and Dara at the stream at Source de Marmitou. I dried my tent and let the stream cool down my feets.

We continued down to the village Lescun, a decent of about 1000 meter. we reached the village in time to get some supplies in the store. The camping is situated 20 min from the village. The dutch team also stayed at the camping, we all prepared some dinner in the camping kitchen and sat down together outside of our tent. I fried some fresh sausage that I shared with Eli, to go with my home dehydrated tomato, vegetables, mushroom and haloumi mix. It tasted great.

I had decided to stay two nights in Lescun, I needed to get my parcel with food supply at the post office the next day and I also needed a rest. My feet was quite ok but I had some pain in my knee.

Day 9: 20 August: Rest day in Lescun

Nice to be back in Lescun for a rest day, a great place for that. When me and Yrr followed GR10 we also had a break in Lescun.

In the morning I had breakfast with the others and we took farewell. I will miss walking with Anika but we will try to met up later on and it would have been nice to join the Dutch team, Anika will have great company.

I also met Sandro and Philippe from Germany at the camping, both following HRP and both lightweight backpackers. They had learned to know each other on the trail. They invited me to walk with them the next day, I happely accepted the invitation.

After some washing I took a walk into the village. I picked up my parcel at the post office and sat down outside of the church to write. I haven’t had much time to do it. A guy came by and parked his bike and went in to the church and started singing, nice vocal. Otherwise it was very quite and peacful.

Around 12 I went to a restaurant to have lunch and there I was happy to bumb into Tasha, great surprise, who just arrived. I found out that she was the women in the tent by the cabin the other day. We had a nice lunch and walked to the camping together. I did some repacking and spend the evening with Tasha, having dinner at the gite at the camping.

Day 10: 21 August: Lescun to Montagne de Barnasse

I hiked together with Philippe and Sandro, who I met yesterday at the camping for the whole day. We had a lot of gear talking as both of them also are into ultralight backpacking. A friend of Philipp, joined us up to the Col de Pau.

The climb up to Col de Pau, was great. The clouds seamed to follow us and but we made it up before the view disappeared completely. We had lunch in the sun before continue on a more levelled path.

It was cloudy and you could see mountains sticking up through the clouds, like islands.

The campsite at the refuge d’Arlet (closed for renovation) at the lake didn’t appeal to us so we decided to continue another 30 minutes before we sat camp at a quite nice place with great views.

I made dinner, home dehydrated pasta with vegetarian bolognaise. Tasted great.

After dinner we all enjoyed the last sun before it disappeared behind the mountain.

Day 12: 23 August: Ibon de Escalar – half the way up to Col d’Arrious

Started early to climb the last part up to a lake. Nice that we already did some climbing last evening.

Sandor took a morning swim, he tried to swim in every lake we passed.

When we reach the Col de Moines (2168m) we had a great view over Pic du Midi d’Ossau and a beautiful valley with horses.

We walked down in to the valley, passed a couple of lakes.

We passed a sign 2 km to Refuge d’Ayous. Yrr and I stayed there when we were hiking the Pyrenees for the first time in 2009. Read about it here.

We continued further down, much further down. We had an early lunch break at a stream at the bottom before starting the climb up again (1643m). We dried our tents.

It was a long and hard climb, the guys disappeared, I took it easier as my astma was tough on me this day. Still I keept an acceptable speed. The last part was challenging, I had to climp on big boulders. It was exciting and I loved it.

I reach the Col d’Peyreget (2310m), I had a great view. Didn’t stop for a break, continued down to the refuge de Pompie (2031m) were I met up with the guys again. I had some chili. We also met two German girls, Simone and Eva, who joined us for the rest of the day.

We continued a few more hours in to next day stage, half way up towards Col d’Arrious. We had some difficulties to find a good camping spot for everyone, but I think we all found something in the end, I found my spot under a big big stone. We sat and ate together outside the girls’ tent before it was time to crawl into our tents. At least I was very tired.

Day 13: 24 August: Campsite half the way up to Col d’Arrious to Refugio de Respomuso

Didn’t sleep that well, the big stone above my tent, shined through the fabric. The night was warm, the stone probably kept some heat from the day. Sandro and I where the last who left the camp. On our way upward we meet some sheeps with three dogs that guarding them, you have to be careful when there are dogs but they are just doing their job to protect the sheeps. We made a small detour around the herd.

Sandor followed by the three dogs guarding the herd of sheeps

The climb up to Col d’Arrious was ok, still bit tired in my lower legs.

Here I had to decide if I wanted to do the Passage d’Orteig, as it was something you should avoid if you suffer from vertigo. The alternative would only take 20 min more but then I had to climb down and up again. Sandro convinced me to make the difficult part of todays trail.

We met up with the others at the lake before Passage d’Orteig. It was scary but Philippe gave me great support and learned me to find the right technique to climb and hold the rope. It was not difficult and I didn’t suffer too much of my fear of heights. Without my backpack I think it wouldn’t have been so scary. Afterward I was happy and proud that I made it.

Looking down from the Passage d’Orteig at Lac d’Artouste

We took a long rest at the refuge d’Arrémoulit, beautifully placed at the Arrémoulit lake. The guys took a swim and we had some well tasty lunch, similar to pasta bolognese but with chunks of meat instead. I regret I didn’t take a swim as the day was damn hot and the lake not freezing cold.

The lake at the refuge

I took farewell of my cohikers as I had decided to take the alternative route as it would save me some time to reach Gavarnie, hopefully a half day later than Anika and Eli. The idea was to make next stage of HRP together.

Group photo before splitting up: Simone, Eva, Sandor and Phillipe. I will miss them.

It was a beautiful and I enjoyed the hike to Refugio de Respomuso, I past a couple of lakes. It was sometimes hard to find the trail but I navigated with the map and it was doable.

Following man-made paths

When I arrived at Refugio de Respomuso it started raining, quite heavely, and I had heard there might be a storm later as well. The refuge was full but they put me on a waiting list. I was in doubt, I really wanted to continue another hour or so, at least to find a campsite. I met a French guy, Jerome, we already met briefly at the refuge d’Arrémoulit. He was camping nearby and was going to eat at the refuge. Around half past seven I got a bed, I took a quick shower and got some food.

The view from the Refugio de Respomuso was magnificant

Tried to call home but the phone didn’t work and I had no connection since a 24h.

The refuge was crowded. I slept in a room with a lot of people. There was very hot and no air, so it was hard to sleep. It was just awful, I regret my decision to stay in the refuge, it would have been much better in my own tent. Lesson to learn.

Day 15: 26 August: Lac d’Arratille to Gavarnie

We went up pretty early, started our climb around 7, when it started to get lighter. It is fantastic to se the colour change on the mountains when climbing up. And the air is still cool and crispy. I just love these mornings.

Looking down at the Lac d’Arratille and our campsite

I enjoyed the climb up to Col d’Arratille (2528m), challenging but exciting. Before reaching the col we passed the Lac du Col d’Arratille.

Col d’Arratille (2528m) facing the slop to Col du Mulets

After the col we followed a trail on the slop and we looked down to a valley that I after a while recognise that me and Yrr walked when we where following the GR 11, in 2010.

Col du Mulets looking down to . Almost the same view from our hike in 2010, where me and Yrr was having a break, this time no snow.
Looking up at Col du Mulets

At the Col du Mulets we rejoined GR11 and we started to decend to Vallée de Gaube. Nice to revisit these beautiful place, at the refuge we just took a short break. But long enough to have some delicous blueberry cake.

Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube (2151m)
Vallée de Gaube facing the Vignermale (3298m, highest summit of the Pyrenees)
Fearless Marmot close to Refuge des Oulettes de Gaube

We continued with our second ascent for the day up to Hourquette d’Ossoue (2734m). It was a step and very rocky. Demanding but doable, the trail was hard to find but the man-made cairns was very useful. I loved the climb, I felt stronger than any other day so far. Happy that my body started to adapt to the mountain. Jerome, was faster going up, but when he took a break I rejoined with him and on the downhill we had more or less the same speed.

We had some short lunch break at Refuge Bayssellance (2651m), it was too early for getting lunch from the refuge so we just ate our own. Quickly before continue on Day 16 in the guidbook, we dried our tents in the sun.

The view at Refuge Bayssellance

From now on it was downhill all the way to Gavarnie. Lovely but step decent in the beginning.

Jerome on his way down
Barrage d’Ossoue (1843m)

From the valley Barrage d’Ossoue (1843m) we followed the road as we wanted to get quicker to Gavarnie to be able to visit the outdoor shop. I also wanted to visit the post office to pick-up my parcel. But when we finally after 2-3 days without any internet connection had connection, I found out they where already closed. Damn.

We arrived to Gavarnie around 17:30, I bought some long pants at the outdoor store as I lost my merino pants. On our way to the camping we bought some food at the small supermarket, quite well equipped. They had nice cheese and sausages.

The camping in Gavarnie facing the famous Cirque de Gavarnie

The camping is nicely located at the end of the village facing the beautiful Cirque de Gavarnie. We had some drinks and took farewell, Jerome plan was to continue the next morning. Mine was to have a rest day or two, and rejoin with Anika, Eli and girls.