Friday, 20 July 2007

Guils de Cerdanya

I am in an official camp site I think, it is very nice.

But last night I slept in a Refugio at around 2700m. Amazing views, fresh water and the other guests, 4 Spanish guys used the other room so I had 3 rooms: kitchen with gas, dining area and bedroom (with metal bunks) to myself, until I was cooking dinner. Then a group of 16 Spanish scouts arrived, so I had to move in the other guys who took it in turns snoring.

Back in Spain anyway and Andorra had very well marked and kept routes, with little cafes or water points every few K but the towns are too over developed. One of the most refreshing interests of this walk is the ancient and clean little villages. Encamp were I stayed was large, noisy and the campsite was in the centre of town. I ate well in a splendid little cafe, but the streets were full of euro teens on wizzy mopeds, mullets flying in the wind buzzing around all night. The architecture of the newer buildings was out of keeping with many of the older ones.

Over development will be an issue in future for the Pyrenees I fear. One town had a huge but old avalanche wall. They had built new tower blocks up hill from the wall! I hope that the the authorities do not allow the Pyrenees to become like the Mediterranean coast. I am fortunate enough to witness a change from the old the new in many small towns, and in the north much of the building and modernisation has been tasteful but as I get further south and east I am not so sure.

The area I´ve passed through lately seems to be little Jurassic park, it is full of lizards which change colour really quickly as they skit over the path, snakes, strange water reptiles like the ones from the Guinness advert. Regarding your comment Andy, the Marmots are too quick for me really, and anyway the authorities seem to be wise to such activities and there are signs often saying ´No Molesti La Fauni´ with a pictogram of a human chasing bats!

Just a warning, but the Germans I mentioned in an earlier blog disappeared around the same time as I disposed of the solar charger. I am worried that they have taken it to their underground lair, and having fixed and improved it are powering some new laser weapon or something.

Andorra also has lots of English. Having heard and seen no English for ages I found several at a camp site. One family in a camper looking to buy a place in Spain or France, a younger couple on holiday, an older couple just touring so we all had a few beers. Then two christian Danes arrived with a guitar and started singing. They were all a bad influence on me and any recent fitness developed was lost that evening. The next day was hard going indeed.

Speaking of physical effects, I am able now to deal a lot more easily with the climbs, although the downs always hurt my feet. I eat loads but have a couple of extra inches spare on my belt now. One unfortunate effect is that I often emit noxious fumes from below (I don't know how else to put it). It could be the different climate, food, lifestyle or something but the effects are often perfidious but amusing (for me at least) when in a dormitory of a Refugio. It proves the old adage that absence makes the fart grow stronger :-)

Anyway I have 10 more walking days to go. 4 of them very high and long then the slog to the med with the heat to deal with. One benefit of walking West to East is that in the morning the climbs are in the shad (most massifs run down East to West), but the GR11 has a nasty sting in its tail and when you can see the coast you still have 4 days to go via a do leg up some hills at the tail end of the Pyrenees.

I am looking forward to getting home now. I recall that one aspect of my former life involved a thing called ´posting control´so I guess I used to be a postman. Oh god not more walking!



Anonymous said...

Ah yes Barrie, apparently the dogs around the Wirral are missing you delivering your letters in your job back home.

Tracey Fairhurst said...

Hi Baz, just a quick note we all went for a walk with the doglets down the marsh. Extreemly muddy hence jumped a large pool of goo missed and landed up to my knees in mud!!!!!So squeltched home and had a nice bath :o) Hope your foot is from Abi, Allan and T X