Time for a Post Pyrenees Blog Post!
Many, many memories – mostly highlights!
The gorgeous lakes everywhere in Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park, home to the Carros de Foc, the beautiful Estany de Monestero mirroring the mountains above and around, the Grecian / Roman step dam down from Estany Negre de Peguera (it really did remind me of a square amphitheatre), our first sight of Refugio J M Blanc….
…..chanting with Esther on the shores of Estany dels Barbs, playing “Who Am I?” at Colomina (Pocohontas? No, Cleopatra) and hangman too (ornitorrinco!), Tina’s essential map of the Carros de Foc, the crazy 3 minute scree (and hidden gully) run the lone pine tree, fir trees and pines, bilberries and juniper berries, tripping over on disused, dead level railway track, crossing Collada de Dellui just before the downpour, Rachel’s emergency chocolate en route to Refugio Estany Llong, cold beers and the best lentils at Refugio Amitges, not quite having the weather to fully enjoy the Refugios’ various sun decks and terraces (but we tried), surviving top bunk ascents/descents (and snorers).
A lovely evening in Vielha, with our Mucho Gusto Team T-shirts.
Mini Magnums in Jaca and getting our Golondrinas swag (yes, I am that shallow) at Belagua.
Walking through the cathedral-like beech forest as we set off on La Ruta de las Golondrinas, Manu’s riddles – and solving them (eventually), Scrabble in Spanish (and, later, in English), watching the International Space Station silently pass overhead against a backdrop of stars, marmots and chamois, and choughs, views and climbers at Collado de Petrachema….
… the berger‘s maison d’amour (and also his tasty goats cheese and hanging chair), picnics in beech woods, 4km of toasty tarmac, arriving ahead of schedule at Refuge de l’Abérouat and celebrating with 7.2% cold beers and lots of snacks, Pas d’Azuns and Pas de l’Osque and optional extra Les Tourelles in between, the lonely berger of Arette-La Pierre St Martin, the ugly reality of a manmade ski resort sans snow, our morning ascent of Pic d’Arlas and the final return to the Rincón de Belagua.
Although I preferred the Carros de Foc overall (and would love to do the remaining sections), Les Tourelles was my overall highlight – the buzz of getting there and back, the bearded vultures cruising past below and soaring overhead – and a fluffy front feather caught on the rock where one had landed, Alfonso and Manu doing their Professional Poses on the outcrop with sheer drops back down into the valley below.
Nothing we hadn’t done before 🙂
Thank you Alfonso, Esther and Manu, and here’s to another adventure in 2024!