Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Days 5 - 11 (Sender Descatalogado)

The above text is printed all over the GR11 notice boards in the Navarra region. It means that the route is discontinued. For a few years now all markings have been left to decay, and most refuges not maintained. This explains a few things, like markings being very random, which is not helped by maps which are an approximation at best.

Anyway I am actually 1 day ahead of schedule despite this in a lovely village at around 1300m called Sallent De Gallego in the school library. Sorry for lack of posts but internet is difficult to get round here.

I´ve passed through the Camino route and saw loads of sad looking pilgrims going to Santiago, and now on the pure GR11 which is much better marked in Navarra region. Only seen a dozen or so other people doing the route though.

The wildlife is interesting. Vampire Slugs try to get me each night in my tent and each morning the tent is cris-crossed by slug trails. A wild boar came into my campsite in the forest but ran away when I shone my torch at him. Snakes, lizards, weird yellow spiders, loads of horse fowling, bats etc give me some company. However made a friend for 2 days; Brent from California, who has now gone over to France, but before he went gave me half his travel book which is much better than mine. Very kind of him really, but I suspect it was guilt from breaking my water bottle :-) We climbed a monster mountain called Zurizza or something, a big slab of limestone that looks spectactular. Photos to be added when I get a more modern PC with USB...

Anyway I cant beleive so few people do this trek. The food is splendid, towns lovely, scenery incredible, wine cheap (or so people tell me). The other night I slept in an abandoned campsite complete with changing rooms, bar restaurant, wash blocks etc just decaying. Very sad, as the area is incredible.

Anyway tomorrow I have 1 verticle kilometer to climb which will take about 6 hours or so and then into the really big hills. Seen a lot of snow already but much more up there.

At least my pack is a lot lighter as I´ve finally eaten all the english food items, and playing an interesting game of ´whats in this packet?´now.

Regards to all


AndyBee said...

Vampire slugs - cool! You should get one as a pet and bring it to work with you when you get back.

Now all your proper food is gone, you need to head directly to the Costa Brava for PG Tips, Cornflakes and a Gut-Buster Breakfast - that's the real Spain, they tell me :-)

Have fun - AB

Geoff said...

Sounds great - just debating about doing it in September. Have just completed the GR20 and did The Camino a few years ago. Apparently the Spanish side is much cheaper than the French. Look forward to the pics and updates.

jabe said...

In answer to the question "Anyway I cant believe so few people do this trek.", I think the answer is included in your post - "A wild boar came into my campsite in the forest but ran away when I shone my torch at him. Snakes, lizards, weird yellow spiders, loads of horse fowling, bats etc". Are you sure Ant & Dec aren't there, waiting with a bushtucker trial?

Daryl Slinn said...

Keep it up Barrie, novelty walking stick and all, just imagine all those tin badges you'll have attached to it when you get home, and then nail your Blackpool, Southport and Llandudno ones to it.