Kilometres walked: 15km / Total distance: 365km / Elevation gain: 826m/ Elevation loss: 877m / Time walked: 4h16min
Today was, dare I say it…a bit boring? I’m probably getting spoiled with all the grand and magnificent landscapes.
I woke up after a shortish but good night of sleep, and set out to continue the climb along the dirt road that I started yesterday. The ascent is steady and easy, and the sun is not out over the hilltops yet so after last night’s storm it’s nice and cool.
The hiking bubble stayed in town for the night so they’re 2 hours or so behind.
I stop at a stream to wash my underwear and socks and have second breakfast. Life on trail can be very mundane.
The road continues up, past a little hydropower plant and its lake, and only a few hundred meters from the top the trail diverges from the road to shortcut a few switchbacks. At the top of the col there is an information sign, little hut and a smooth and grassy descent down the other side. No spectacular vistas, no rewarding views. Sometimes it’s like that.
The descent is easy and I’m bouncing down the trail. Halfway down a small wooden bridge -few planks missing- crosses a stream and I spot a small swimming hole below a small waterfall. I’m not in a hurry today so I decide to go for a swim and have lunch here.
I strip down my clothes, gambling the trail is quiet enough to go naked, and walk into the stream. The water is rushing, my legs are tingling, and with a deep breath I squat down up to my neck into the icy cold water. My skin feels like it’s on fire and I feel very, very alive. I crawl back up the riverbank, put on my underpants just in case, and dry up in the sun while I prepare my lunch (tortillas with cream cheese, sausage, and avocado). Of course, not more than 30 seconds later, three young men walk by, spotting me, and I say hi. They ignore me. They need to get water from the stream but the easiest access point is blocked by an almost naked woman eating her lunch, so they make the awkward move to go the long way around and climb up the waterfall to get water. Relax guys, it’s only boobs. Or I’m sorry if you somehow have taken offense.
After lunch the descent continues, eventually along another dirt road. Yesterday it was nice to crunch out some kilometers, but today it’s getting boring.
My goal for the day is Camping Forcallo. It’s a short day, but the Refugio a bit further up ahead is full and I’m not sure about camping opportunities further along. And rain & thunderstorm are predicted, so I’d rather be at a campsite with a good pitch and a bar to hide in.
I arrive early afternoon and spend some time talking to other hikers, exchanging information about the route, drinking coffee and catching up on my own journal.
Easy days. Not-mind-blowing days. Cruising days. Part of the game. I fall asleep with the sound of raindrops on the tent, again.