Friday, 27 July 2007

Planoles and Nuria

Hi folks,

I am still going, and it has gone from freezing cold to baking hot.

The big hills are behind me know, but the final ascent of the highest part of the trek was a challenge. The longest day of the walk finished in a town called Planoles. The book warned me of over-grown paths and it did not disappoint. Brambles, thorn bushes etc all took a piece of me on the way down, and I then got lost. Just as I found the track I heard a clap of thunder and the heavens opened. I was not aware that air could hold that much water and still allow us to breath, and the rain stung my cuts! So I decided to avoid the campsite and drop into town. Of course it was a Saturday and all places were full. So back up into the hills to the campsite which was also full. With no other options I looked around the site and found a large pitch with only a medium sized tent, and the adjacent van had Dutch plates. Already having experienced generosity from Dutch travellers, I asked if they would allow me to pitch nearby, if I promised to be quiet. They replied 'Of course, but we can not promise the same, wink wink'.

The next day was a large climb back into high country though still damp. I came to my destination the complex, and decided to put a nice room on my credit card rather than camp again. All my problems from the previous day were washed away in a very un-environmental bath. Well set with a huge breakfast I made my way to the ridge which at around 3000m is the highest point of the walk, and the skies where clear and visibility amazing. Looking West I could see the mountain ranges stretching out into the horizon and was rather pleased to recognise I had covered them. It was extremely windy however, and my walking poles acted more like wind-vanes. I was worried that my new found willowy frame would blow away like a leaf on the wind, but my trusty rucksack held me down. I put the poles on the sac, and remembered to find some stones for my children. After a bit of searching on the main summit I found two lovely flat rocks that look like slate but have a crystal like quality and hope they will take engraving. I have to confess to getting a bit emotional at this point and I cried.

Needless to say reality checked my emotions as I tried to take a photo and the dropped the camera down the mountain. I retrieved it but the LCD display is cracked. All other functions still seem to work such as sound, and it has a view finder. So I am trusting to Canon that the circuit from lens to memory card, does not go via the display!

I will retrospectively add photos to the blog when I get home. Done! The horse at the top is supplying a mountain refuge. Yes, I now feel guilty for drinking that coke!

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