GR11 Hiking

Day 14 & 15: Long Way Down

Kilometres walked: 20km  / Total distance: 284km/ Elevation gain: 342m / Elevation loss: 1423m / Time walked: 6h5min

From our campsite at the lake it’s a short scramble to the top of the next col: Brazato, at about 2500m. More rocks! Compared to yesterday it feels like nothing, although it’s sometimes difficult to make out the trail among all the boulders.

It takes us three hours to do 6km. Jumping from rock to rock, constantly scanning around for the next trail marker. The waymarking is good but occasionally we still end up in the wrong spot. It doesn’t really matter, it’s just boulders all the way down the valley.

“KUTGRANIET!” (Fucking granite), we shout and we laugh. “Where is our grass?!”

Eventually we do reach a grassy plateau, streams meandering. It is, of course, again, ridiculously beautiful. We drink water straight from the stream. No cows up here yet. Bliss.

The rest of the way down is easy trail. Easy gradient, good path. We fly down the mountain, passing climbers heading up to Mt. Vignemale. Another beautiful valley, following the river all the way down to Bujaruelo.

At the Refugio Bujaruelo, which is insanely busy because it’s Sunday, we eat fake magnums and drink soda. Hyped up on sugar we do the last 45 minutes of trail, still following the river, to the camping we’re staying tonight*. This section of trail is suddenly more difficult (not hard, just slightly harder), through the forest and over wet rock. We’re having fun.

Goodbye

It’s our last day of hiking together. I’m taking a rest day tomorrow, Nicole is visiting some friends that live nearby. It was nice to hike in good company for a few days, especially in the first real high mountain sections, but I long to be alone now.

We say our goodbyes the next morning, and the rest of the day I do absolutely fuck all except catching up on the blog, sorting out my food bag, and doing laundry. I’m not alone for long; the next group of hikers arrives early afternoon. Some of them I’ve seen before, some of them are new (to me) members of our little hiking bubble.

Beers, dinner, bed. Tomorrow one of the most famous sections of the trail: the Ordesa Valley.

* Camping Valle de Bujaruelo. Highly recommended if you’re walking the trail or just want to get away from everything #nospon

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