On foot Pyreneyam
Travel We usually fully plan to ourselves and do not use the services of travel firms. This deprives the vacation of predictability and relaxation, but adds extreme, surprises and surprises. And every time in the final travel plan always turns out to be mountains. Mountains because it is powerful, grand and beautiful. In the mountains, the picture before your eyes is changing dozens of times per day, and each of them is more beautiful than another. Hike arranged very simple. In the morning you wake up, cook coffee, breakfast, collect backpacks, then you go to the whole day, then down, or only up a few days, but by the end of each day suddenly you know that all the brain files are clogged with gigabytes of bright colorful pictures that all day sailed in front of your eyes, and that the places there is no longer anything for anything. Excellent reboot, however. It seems to be riding a bike on the plain Holland, but for some reason in Spanish Pyrenees. Mountains can be in different variations: mountains and sea, mountains and visits to the ancient temples, mountains and capital, I do not even know if it will someday do without visiting the mountains.
So, Pyrenees. Mountains on the border of France and Spain, of course, not so promoted as the Alps, but no less interesting. Information about walking on the Pyrenees in the Russian-speaking internet is a bit, but what we found was quite enough. The lack of information on the contrary leaves the place for independent discoveries, and the unknown of what is waiting ahead, exclement. The GR11 trail is more than 800 kilometers along the Spanish Pyrenees, through Andorra from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, well, or vice versa. From France there is a similar trail of the GR10, and there is also a HRP – this route passes through the steadst passes and the tops of the mountains.
We planned to go through the GR11 route. Start decided from the capital Andorra Town of Andorra La Velia, which is also the most high-mountain capital of Europe. I really wanted to visit this tiny country. Flew to Barcelona. Embedding in the Mediterranean Sea, go on the flight bus from Lipka Barcelona Heat to the fresh coolness of Andorra La Veli. The bus departs from Barcelona Nord bus station and travels three hours on a beautiful mountain serpentine. We leave backpacks in the hotel and go for a walk. Very nice, beautiful and pure city, and on pedestrian crossings, the quotes of great writers are written. However, Andorra is all such.
Prices are cheaper than in neighboring Spain and France, so you can buy products here. The next day, on the flight bus, we are going to the neighboring settlement of Encamp, go for about 15 minutes, there is our GR11. Easy to navigator find our first identification sign well and … E-Hali, that is, we went. The entire route is very well marked with red and white marks.
In general, Andorra is amazing. In this tiny country (in 55! Once less than the area, in the district center of which we live) are laid in the mountains of 54 routes of varying degrees of difficulty, which can be held on foot, you can run on bicycles or horses. 29 shelters built on these routes, in which you can stay and spend the night. Refuge called refugio, can be paid with Wi-FAT, washing machine, breakfast, lunch and dinner and free. You can also get a special passport where the stamps put in refundra, about the same as Pilgrim’s passport on the path of St. Jacob.
Echampa trail walks up on the forest upwards. On the pass, many people walk around the surroundings, but they arrived there by cars, and we came on foot, we feel like heroes. Having loved the magnificent views, snag, go to the descent. Downstairs Arans village. Somewhere here, judging by the map, there must be a refunda, but for some reason it is not. We ask from a local resident, there is a refunda, but somewhere far away, there is also camping. We decide to go to the campsite, to which you stay on the bus, although on foot, close, three kilometers on the road.
European campgrounds is a whole philosophy. A huge number of people travels on trailers that are a full-fledged residential house where everything is for a comfortable stay. Campgrounds, where we stayed, were struck by trailers completely. Camping is a large territory on which there are places for auto houses, for traveling on ordinary cars, motorcycles, bicycles or foot with tents. More bicycles, kayaks are often attached to trailers, everything you need for outdoor activities. This is because campgrounds are usually located in the most picturesque places and in extensive areas around there are many trails for hiking, cycling, rivers for descent on kayak, lakes for fishing. Camping Usually there is a pool for adults, a swimming pool for children, a hot shower, comfortable toilets, washing and drying machines, barbecue places, dishwashing rooms, fully equipped playgrounds, gaming areas, cafes and shop, free Wi-Fi , on the territory of the entire camping there are special columns with sockets to recharging gadgets. Everywhere perfect cleanliness.
So, Camping. The pool is the right thing that you need after a 17 kilometer transition, including a set of height more than one kilometer and as much descent, in the mountains in the heat. Just need to have time to swim while the sun shines – the height is still, and as soon as the sun comes out of the mountain, it becomes cool. There is a shop in the village, it’s a cafe. Walking there for freshly plated crispy baguetas, prepared dinner on the gas burner and to sleep in a tent. We took with you a single-layer small tent more just in case, as they planned to spend the night in refundra, but as a result, the decision to take the tent turned out to be strategically correct and saved us a bunch of money. Statistics for this day: 15.8 km have passed, a set of 1210 meters, descent of 1175 meters, the height of the night 1276 meters.
In the morning, on the way to the exit, our route was purchased by baguetas, could not also resist hot croissants. That’s why I still love mountain trips, and indeed hiking – because you can afford to eat anything, anyway, all the calories will go to the endless rise in the mountain. So, comrades, do not deny yourself anything: Cola, ice cream, cake, fat, smoked sausage – everything is useful in campaign. From surprises: seen in the parking lot Brutal black motorcycle Urals with cradle and Andorian numbers.
All the next day we walked only up. On this day, our GR11 also coincided with some Andorian path, so many people went along the trail and towards. Oh well, there was a lot of people fled. In Andorra, there are no long plain sites for runners, and they decided: "Well, Okay, then we will run in the mountains". And they run, also along the way in the ice mountain lakes. This is at such an altitude, when we already, both such indigenous siberians go, having wrapped around in an unproduced jackets, a half of the mountain, and the Andorians run in one T-shirts and along the way and plunge into mountain lakes. In general, it is probably so they are customary to spend a weekend, with backpacks, taking children, starting with babies, and their rooted well-kept dogs and go to the mountains. The end point on this day – Refuragi somewhere along the way. Having reached the refussi, we appreciate the situation and decide to spend the night in the valley just below, put a tent in a secluded place on the shore of the stream. And save 40 euros in your budget (that refuadie cost 20 euros per person). In general, these shelters built in the middle of the mountains, where there are no buildings for tens of kilometers, they look, of course, gorgeous. Typically, such pictures are exhibited with a comment type "Paradise for introvert". Well, it’s time for us to remember that we still have Siberians who have passed Altai and other places where there is no refundry with a hot shower, and wash with cold water from the stream, and in a tent well sleep well, though at night sometimes you need to wear caps, and 40 euros we We will find where to spend where to spend, dinner, for example, we will roll in the restaurant on the last day of vacation. Statistics for this day: 15.1 km passed, a set of 1439 meters, descent of 557 meters, spending a night of 2223 meters.
The third day is also starting with lifting up. Or rather, at first, just with the rise of my body from the tent, then with a coffee saucepan on the burner, from the liver and the muesley with a condensed milk, and then sigh, you think – and why I was not sitting at home, or – Well, why at least the sea did not remain , then you throw a backpack on my back and you start to stump up. Forest zone with ripe blueberries remained far away. The depth of space covered with the vision expanded a few kilometers to the horizons. So always in the mountains: the closer to the clouds, the wider the review and the more clothes on you wear. On the way, we met even a big snowdrift, having decided, apparently, by all means to live until the next winter, and since August was already August, he had a great chance to meet the first autumn snowball, so to speak, Demobe.
The highest point of our third day was simultaneously both the border between Spain and Andorra, which was held at the top of the ridge. There are no border poles, the transition of the boundary can be traced only by the mobile signal: was Andorratelecom, and suddenly once and already Spanish Movistar. And the descent of the down promised to be fun. A very cool bulk rocky slope, looking down, saw rising young people without backpacks, and they rose on four limbs, real. Seeing us, they asked if we were going to go down with backpacks, because it is very dangerous, well, of course we are going, we have no other track on the navigator. The guys showed an alternative track on their maps. Well, we are adults sane people and broken limbs to us. However, going at the specified direction did not find anything there, except for the same bulk steep descent, returned back, prayed and began to slowly go down. It’s not so scary, how to look at him from above, safely descended without a single scratch. Just in the mountains you need to go in good trekking shoes, with a good sole. We had excellent solar dry weather, in bad weather, rain or snow to descend there, I would not risk. There is a workaround there, just he farther than we were looking for. Below after the descent is free refunda. Went inside, there is pretty cozy, clean, about 12 beds, there is a table and shops.
And our way lay on down. A little walking down, began to meet on the path of walking tourists without backpacks and with children. Spaniards also have such fun – leave the car in the parking lot and go for a walk in the mountains a few kilometers. The sound of the bells is constantly heard. The meadow graze to … No, not goat. Cows and horses graze on the Pyrenean meadows, chew environmentally friendly herbs, drink the purest water from mountain lakes and streams and breathe fresh mountain air. What they do there, they live there all the summer or every day someone drives in the mountains every day, but who is this megapastuh, because there are no farms for a tet kilometers near a tet kilometers, cattle and in general signs of human or inhuman housing. We never solved this mystery, we decided that these are wild cows and horses, just some kind of new belling breed, probably they are born immediately with bells.))
In the queue once overcoming a couple of natural zones from the tundra at the top to the forest below, we decide to search for the night, as the sun clone to the sunset. There were ahead of the village called Areu, but we decided to look for the night, not reaching it, because it is unknown where you can spend the night in the village, but it darkens quickly and look for something in the dark is extremely difficult. Found a place away from the trail near the stream. Put a tent, dinner, and spent the rest of the day lying on the grass and meditating on the surrounding mountains. By the way, excellent occupation – you are lying and just look at the mountains. And for some reason, no left thoughts like: damn tomorrow, the report at work to take, do not come to mind. And all because all the brain files are engaged in bright colorful pictures that sailed before their eyes per day.
Statistics for this day: 18.2 kilometers have passed, a set of 887 meters, a descent of 1515 meters, the height of the night 1523 meters, the maximum height on the pass 2822 meters.
The fourth day in the morning everything according to plan: rise, coffee, tent and sleeping bags in a backpack and drove further on Pyrenees. An hour later came to Areu. On the way of anyone, the path of the weekend for mass walks of Spanish lovers of outdoor activities remained in the bottom of yesterday, and at the bottom of today we will meet on the human route three no more. Areu Pleasant little village, paved by stone, with church, shop and big campsite. That is, it was possible to spend the night in a campsite, well, we again saved a couple of dozen euros and our final holiday dinner found the features more and more luxurious. In Areu We buy products: cheese, hamon, fruit, vegetables, yogurt, dry soup, and a couple of crisp baguettes. With shops further will be very bad. Therefore, in Areu you need to buy food for at least a couple of days.
This day was alone, there was no one on the way, only my favorite medieval stone villages from several houses, but with a powerful church, absolutely deserted. No, they are inhabited, just during the day of Siesta, there is no one on the street.
The trail led us directly to the information kiosk for tourists in the most beautiful village Tavasc. Ask where refuadie here or camping. Cute girl answers that the refuadie is not here, and the campsite is far away, buses do not go, but she can call us a taxi, or we can go to the hotel around the corner. Tavascane curious village. For example, there is a large outdoor pool, several hotels that are focused in one place on one street, there is a small hydroelectric power station, a medieval stone bridge, a fountain in the form of a statue of a girl with a rocker, a souvenir shop, generally traditionally everything is very picturesque, beautiful and atmospheric. In the evening, everything is beautifully illuminated, and on the bridge you can arrange the theater of shadows. In the souvenir shop there is something from food, but it is very little. And in the winter it is a ski resort where there are cross-country ski tracks. Tried to look for a place where you can get up with a tent, did not find, everything is fallen, Tavaskan is groping between the mountains, breaks everywhere. The next day, when climbed up, we saw a single suitable place for the tent: if you go left to the village after going from the path, go around the mountain river, there there is an extensive even place on the other shore, if you get up there at dusk and behave quietly, then It is very real to spend the night. Well, today settled at the hotel for 35 euros. The most inexpensive hotel is immediately the first for the information kiosk, the rest is more expensive than at least twice. By the way, it was necessary to learn more about camping in more detail, I think it was not so far. Statistics for this day: passed 21.4 kilometers, a set of height of 1186 meters, descent of 1575 meters, the height of the night is 1116 meters.
Fifth day GR11. Day, like a day, nothing unusual – the same beautiful landscapes, transparent mountain rivers, meadows, valleys and forests, clouds lying on the tops of the mountains, scorching sun. Today, our ultimate goal is Estaon. How long is it short, we walked, stepped and came to Estaon. Traditionally, the whole stone, with a tight pressed to each other at home and narrow stone streets, church and a small graveyard in the church courtyard. Violates this medieval idyll only with a dozen car parking at the entrance. On the tiny central square to the wall of the house, a large flat stone is nailed, there is a chalk and a rack, and on the stone two columns and something is written in them. Could not be translated, and that the villagers are written there, and it remains a mystery.
Put a tent on the banks of the river below Estaon and went walking. The village has a cozy refuadie, the cost of 16 euros per person per night, 23 euros with breakfast. We decide to stay in the tent. Next to the flight two more villages where we walked in the evening, there is no store in any. Statistics per day Fifth: 15.2 kilometers passed, a set of 844 meters height, descent of 811 meters, overnight at an altitude of 1109 meters.
Day of the Six. It was a cool day. After all, on the map at the end point of our today’s way we saw the camping icon and even the store. This is definitely bingo. With Estona, the path goes up on the pass, with a passing outdoor view. In the campaign, we have a tradition: at the highest points of the current day, on which there are always gorgeous panoramas, drink tea or coffee with cookies, well, or with cheese and boomon, depending on the variety of products available. Water is always with you in a bottle, five minutes on the burner and voila – Enjoy, Lord Commons. In parallel, dried things: a tent and sleeping bags. Since the tent is one-layer, then by the morning it is inevitable from the inside was covered with an embryo. You can avoid this if you open the inputs, but sometimes it was quite cold, so we closed. At the pass met an elderly German. She walked alone and told that the whole path is 800 kilometers long, but not at a time, but passes each year part of the trail. On this day we met the whole person five. The descent down goes through the woods with empty pines, sworn moss, it seems, somewhere here behind the trees hiding the hut Baba-Yagi. There were as many two campsites on the spot, but we chose the most glamorous with two stars. Perfectly spent the rest of the day: used the washing machine, swimming pool, hot shower, snacks from the store, on the evening a bottle of wine, which is still needed for happiness. Walked, obsessed fishing. Fishing is when people, in full fishing equipment with a bunch of all floats and other fishing pieces, catch fish on the fishing rod, then carefully take her in hand, carefully pull the hook and let go back to the water. I like such fishing. This place is called La Gruetta, but that it is not clear, and it is impossible to name the village, there simply have two campsites with excellent infrastructure, including a bunch of trail and routes for hiking and bikeroguloc. Statistics for this day: 13.7 km passed, a set of 1129 meters, descent of 1282 meters, the height of the night is 945 meters.
Next seventh day we smoothly pick up the height. Along the way, the town of Espot. Mountain river flows around the city through which an ancient stone bridge. At the sight of this bridge, I wanted to throw a backpack, get into the beautiful lady’s suit of the XV century and walk along the bridge waiting from a long campaign to the overseas countries of your knight in the armor on horseback. By shifting a vision, wiping sweat from his forehead and go to catch up his knight who fled forward.
Epos has a couple of grocery stores, it is worth buying food for a couple of days. The city has an outdoor city pool. In general, we have seen such swimming pools in Spain, and we are, as living in a Siberian outback, this is certainly indebted to admire – as it is in general for us unusually in the middle of the city have a seating area with a swimming pool for universal access. There’s a lot of tourists there, they are in line to buy a ticket for an SUV and go through the surrounding lakes. Where we head, too, you could leave, buying a ticket for 10 euros, but this is not our method, we are wasting, just on foot, only with backpacks. Going out of the city, arrange around a mountain stream, cool the legs in cold water, fluttering fruit, cheese and go on. Today, GR11 goes along the way of walking tourists to lakes, so many people. Our ultimate goal of Lake Estany de Sant Maurice, located in a picturesque location near Los Encantados Mountain, which has two identical vertices and is depicted on all advertising prospects. There is Refuragi. As it turned out, there are no places in Refuragi, and, frankly, it was the worst refugie, which we saw: two tiny dark rooms with the bars and a bunch of people. To the question: can I get up next to the tent, got a negative answer. Well, not to make us back, so we act on the old scheme, we turn into the forest and find a suitable place next to the stream. We celebrate the point on the navigator to find your tent, and go to walk on the lake. By that time, the last SUV left, and on the lake suddenly there was no one left. Beautiful, quietly, the transparency of water allows you to see every pebble on the bottom. Dam is built on the lake, but this is not a power station, no wires there, possibly, it was built only to prevent flood flooding. The dam is pretty a complex and large artificial object, but she somehow harmoniously fits into the surrounding landscape, it does not spoil him at all and does not get into the eyes. To the sunset we return to the tent, prepare dinner and sleep. Sleep in campaign amazing. The brain continues to scroll through everything seen for the day and for all previous days and, when you fall asleep, as if you fall into some bright new world, from which you barely be returned with an alarm clock to Earth. We went to bed at night at nine in the evening, and started to get up at six in the morning, it turned out right everything as advisted doctors – a healthy dream 9 hours a day. Statistics for this day: 15.1 km passed, a set of 1311 meters, descent of 362 meters, height over the night 1888 meters.
The next day was to overcome the second highest point of our journey, already a total of 2582 meters. Tourist trail for weekend hikes ended on the lake, so we again go in silence and loneliness. Lifting according to Classic: Watch, it seems to screamed there now, and there you come there, there you come there, and there the mountain is even higher, which was not visible from below. Rose to the pass. That’s always interesting – and what is there, behind the mountain. Here and you go, and crawl, drag this backpack tens of kilometers, I really want to know what’s behind the mountain. This time behind the mountain was the blue lake, far distance, other mountains, snow-white clouds and wind, which spread the sound of the bell for kilometers. The animals themselves are not visible, only the traces of their stay can be seen, and the cows and horse breed horses themselves graze somewhere in the mountains. Not bad with their pasture, however, five stars. I hurt for a stone block from the wind, arrange more comfortable and enjoy the coffee and the surrounding landscape. And then the clouds who hung just below us, suddenly decide to twist through our pass to the other side. And you find yourself inside this cloud, inhale cold white couples in the smell of coffee, and the world suddenly from an immense narrowing to the radius of a pair of meters around you that you can see. Amazing sensations.
Go down below and go past a cascade of mountain glacial lakes with unrealistic transparent water. People have become much, as again the path for walking the day off. One lake is also overclosed by a dam, and on the shore and on the markup on the dam it can be seen that water rises by 12-15 meters. On this lake there is a refunda, the type of modern, and with a complete set of amenities. But according to our plan, we don’t go on the GR11. It was sad to say goodbye to the natives already mountains and red-white labels, it seems like everyone else you know … But you can always go back … But I think we will not return. Do not return only because our life is not so long, but the planet is big, and I want to have time to go to each her.
So, from the lake with a dam we turn down towards the road to the town of Viella. After a steep descent, the road begins and the tourist trail is in parallel. We go along the trail and looking for a place for overnight. Find at the very end before accessing parking. We go into the forest slightly and put the tent traditionally at the stream. It was the coldest night in our journey, I had to put on my headquarters and gloves, although the previous ones were at a greater height, but it was not so cold. Statistics for this day: 18.2 km have passed, a set of 935 meters, descent of 983 meters, overnight stay 1762 meters.
In the morning we go on the road and we do not know where. The goal is to reach some villages, from where you can leave Viella to the city. On the way, we are selected by the Germans traveling on the trailer, and in the city we turn out to be much faster than planned. On the bus station orient and buy a ticket for the nearest bus to the city of Lleida. From there on the same day, we get on the train to Logrono, from where you go on foot along the path of St. Jacob. But this is a completely different story.
Statistics for the whole hike: about 140 km passed, the total set of height 9024 m (Everest however), the total descent of 8513 meters. Well so soften in general.
On the way there are pointers indicating the distance to the key points of the path. Distance indicated in hours and minutes. So you can safely multiply this time at least one and a half. I do not know on whom they measured this time, probably no less than on the world champion in Travelran.
Weather. All the time of the hike was solar hot weather, only occasionally the scorching sun closed rare clouds. Sun cream is required.
Food. Products can not be bought in every village. Plus, it is still necessary to take into account that stores can be closed on a siesta or on the weekend.
Equipment. Everything is standard as for any other mountain trips. Equipment lists can be found on different tourist sites. I will dwell only on the shoes: the entire route passed in the trekking net sneakers. Heavy shoes are not needed in the summer, they will be very hot.
Tent. With a tent, everything turned out perfectly, it is light, though small, but spacious for two people and green. Green it is important. That is, against the background of greens, it is not visible. The fact is that we definitely do not know in which places you can put a tent, and in which it is impossible, so they did not get up in prominent places. In national parks, it is definitely impossible, but it is not always clear where the park begins and where it ends. Cooking the food is only on the gas burner, removing the dry grass around or putting a burner on a flat stone. All garbage we carried with them.
Water. Water we drank from everywhere: from mountain streams and lakes, from cranes in campsites and in hotels too. While alive and healthy.
Money. If you spend the night in refundra, then you need to cook from 16 euros per person if 20-25 euros in the campsites with a tent. Buying food on the way accounted for about 20-25 euros for two people for two to three days.
All listed in the reporting settlements in the winter are ski resorts.