Into the Pyrenees: Prep

Not long now until Team Mucho Gusto head off Into the Pyrenees with Alfonso and Manu. Time for a prep blogpost!


  1. Hereford to London
  2. Fly London Stansted to Lourdes
  3. Meet Alfonso & Manu, drive to Espot (Catalonia), walk to Refugio Ernest Mallafrè (1950m)
  4. Carros de Foc trek day 1: Refugio Ernest Mallafrè – Refugio J.M. Blanc (2350m)
  5. Carros de Foc trek day 2: Refugio J.M Blanc – Refugio Colomina (2420m)
  6. Carros de Foc trek day 3: Refugio Colomina – Refugio Estany Llong (1925m)
  7. Carros de Foc trek day 4: Refugio Estany Llong – Refugio Amitges (2365m)
  8. Carros de Foc trek day 5: Refugio Amitges – Refugio Ernest Mallafré. Drive to Vielha (980m)
  9. Transit day: Drive to Belagua (Navarre, 1428m), sightseeing en route – Ainsa, Jaca and San Juan de la Peña Monastery
  10. La Ruta de las Golondrinas trek day 1: Refugio BelaguaRefugio de Linza (Aragon, 1340m)
  11. Golondrinas trek day 2: Refugio Linza – into France – Refuge de l’Abérouat (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 1442m)
  12. Golondrinas trek day 3: Refuge de l’Abérouat – Refuge Jeandel (1620m)
  13. Golondrinas trek day 4: Refugio Jeandel – back into Spain – Refugio Belagua (1428m)
  14. Drive to Lourdes. Fly Lourdes to London Stansted
  15. London
  16. London to Hereford

Given we’re in the Pyrenees, it’s no surprise that we will be crossing from France to Spain and back again a few times. To get a sense of where we’ll be here’s a map showing the huts we’re staying at on each route and the sightseeing locations for the transit day:

Google map: Into the Pyrenees with Alfonso & Manu
Google map: Into the Pyrenees with Alfonso & Manu

The Carros de Foc route is in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park in the Central Pyrenees.

Carros de Foc map on
Carros de Foc map on

We’re doing the Golondrina Clásica version of La Ruta de las Golondrinas, in the Western Pyrenees. La Ruta crosses from Spain to France and back again in the footsteps of las Golondrinas. You’ll need to visit the website to see their map.

Weather forecasts




Vielha (976m)

and I’ll be checking the weather forecasts on the refugi / refuge websites.


I’ll be making use of last year’s Picos kit list and my post-trek blogpost covering “What I took and didn’t need / use” and “What I wish I’d taken”, taking into account the fact that this year’s trip is two separate treks with a day to reset the rucksack in between. This should mean the backpack is a little lighter. Although I am considering taking a jar of chutney….

We’ve all also booked hold baggage for the Ryanair flights. Another lesson learned from last year.

Money & Travel Insurance

I’ve consulted MoneySavingExpert’s Travel Money Max and ordered my Euros. One of the big differences having moved to Herefordshire is that I can no longer pop into Thomas Exchange Global.

Travel Insurance needs to cover this autumn’s trek in Nepal, so it’s back to Trailfinders as their standard insurance includes “Trekking/Rambling/Hiking (recognised routes under 7,000 metres only)”, whereas most other policies have a much lower altitude limit. Annual, worldwide travel insurance for me has come in at just over £200.