GR11 Hiking

Day 8: River Swim

Day 8: Kilometres walked: 18km / Total distance: 193km / Elevation gain: 987m / Elevation loss: 807m / Time walked: 5h45min. I walk out of the camping in the morning together with Nicole, another Dutch girl and member of the little hiking bubble that developed over the last few days. We’re heading for the real mountains! Yesterday I could see them coming closer and closer and today we are here! From the camping we follow…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Day 7: Mountains Are Coming!

Kilometres walked: 33km / Total kilometres: 175 / Elevation gain: 1280m / Elevation loss: 830m / Time walked: 8h7min When my alarm vibrates at 5:30 and I remove my earplugs I hear music. Apparently the town party is still going strong. Only at 6:30, as I make my way out of the camping, the music stops playing. Bleary-eyed drunk teenagers watching the sun come up in the town square. And me, walking through, trying not…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Day 5&6: People!

Kilometres walked: 16km / Total distance: 141km / Elevation gain: 326m / Elevation loss: 941m / Time walked: 4h7min. The campsite up the ridge from yesterday is beautiful but I sleep poorly. First, there are lots of cows and horses around and although the sound of their bells is kind of soothing, I keep listening intently to check if they’re coming closer, too close. Irrational fears of a stampede trampling my tent with me inside…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Day 4: Where is the Hiker Hunger?

Kilometres walked: 23 / Total distance: 125km / Elevation gain: 1134m / Elevation loss: 638m / Time walked 6h33min Every time I stretch my legs they cramp up. I know this feeling from the beginning of a marathon training cycle, and it signals an adjustment period I have to go through. I also know that this adjustment does not happen without adequate rest, do I vow to take it a bit easier from now on.…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Day 3: I Might Have Learned Something

Kilometres walked: 32 / Total distance: 102km / Elevation gain: 1600m / Elevation loss: 1244m / Time walked 8h22min I wake up at my campsite after a broken night’s sleep. It takes me way too long to break up camp and make breakfast, I clearly need to develop a routine to smoothen this process, because right now it’s an explosion of gear, cold coffee, clothes airing out, and me trying to do three things at…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Day 2: My Neck, My Back, My Booty and My Crack

Kilometres walked: 37 / Total distance: 70km / Elevation gain: 1716m / Elevation loss: 1240m / Time walked 9h39min I thought those were the lyrics of that one song, at least that’s what I’ve been humming all day, but when I looked them up it turned out they’re quite different from what I remembered. In any case, my version works perfectly as a title. Basically, it’s a list of things that hurt. My neck &…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

GR11 Day 1: Everybody Has a Plan…

Kilometres walked: 24,5 / Total distance: 33km / Elevation gain: 912m / Elevation loss: 908m / Time walked: 5h40 Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Mike Tyson I had a plan and nearly got punched in the face. Rather than fighting at the risk of getting punched for real I figured it was better to avoid the fight in the first place and live to see another day. My opponent?…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Preparation, Packing and…Panic! (Including Gear List)

I’m leaving tomorrow, so today is the day I’m freaking out as I try to fit all the backpacking gear for the GR11 into my tiny, tiny backpack. It’s not tiny, it’s about 40L. Not big either, but not tiny, but I swear it has shrunk. Everything fits somehow, including the first three days of food and snacks. Whether I can actually carry it…we’ll see. I haven’t weighed it yet. According to my packing list…

Continue reading

GR11 Hiking

Transpirenaica: Hiking the GR11

Of course I still have to actually walk the thing, but I figured I’d share some more information about the trail that I’ll be hiking this summer: the GR11. The Grande Randonnée 11 The GR11, or Transpirenaica, runs across the full length of the Pyrenees and stays on the Spanish side of the border, except for a few days where it crosses Andorra. There are other routes that cross the Pyrenees: the GR10 that runs…

Continue reading