GR11 Hiking

Day 32: I’m not loving Andorra

Kilometres walked: 23km  / Total distance: 562km / Elevation gain:  1583m / Elevation loss: 1639m / Time walked: 7h12min

There, I said it. I was curious about Andorra, but so far I’m not loving it.

I left the hut this morning together with a Spanish girl who is also hiking the GR11. We walk down to the town, Arinsal, where I order a coffee, she makes fun of my caffeine addiction, we charge our electronics and we both order an enormous bowl of yoghurt topped with granola and fresh fruit. I haven’t tasted anything this fresh since I got ill and I savor every bite. At least Andorra scores points for breakfast.

The climb out of town is steep, but at least it’s in the shade. This will be the theme of the rest of the day: steep climbs and descents through the woods. No spectacular views, a lot of what feels like pointless up and downs to nowhere.

Peanut butter

At least I have company. I eat lunch together with Andrea and she gives me a spoonful of her peanut butter. Peanut butter! It’s like my body screams “YES PLEASE MORE OF THIS!”. We talk about the joys of peanut butter for at least five minutes and I promise to myself that tomorrow, in Encamp, where I’ll have to do groceries, I’ll look for a jar of the brown, goopy goodness that I didn’t know I was craving.

After lunch more up, more down, until we finally start the final climb of today. 700 vertical meters. These are not too steep but the path is boring and I’m just…done. I drag myself up the hill and look for a good place to pitch our tents at the top.

We settle for a space between some pine trees. It’s not completely flat but at least this way we are a little bit sheltered in case the storm is worse than predicted. And perhaps more importantly: we are invisible from the road and parking lot. This is the first time this trip that I camp with the sound of traffic in the background. It reminds me of the cycling tours I’ve done, but I didn’t miss the sound.

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