From Andorra Encamp to Mollo
126 km, 7 days of hiking
The threatening danger
of avalanges at the ascent to the Anayet lakes was the reason to continue
for now my walk in Andorra. The alternative hiking in the Izas Valley was
quite out of the question since I really want to make photos of the Pic
du Midi d´Ossau on the plain of the Anayet lakes.
I thought it, I done
it, so I drove by buses to reach Andorra. About 7 pm I pitched my tent at
Camping International in Enchamp. About 9 pm I gathered detailed inquiries
about the begin of the GR 11 trail which I would leave tomorrow morning
as early as possible.
a fine weather when I walked to the Riu Madriu. Here a nice view into the
valley of Andorra. My plan for today was the Cabana dels Esparvers 20 km from
here after an ascent of 1350 m.
Riu Madriu is falling in mild and strong cascades down to Andorra. Here in
a forest looking like a park.
for the night in the cabana and climbed up the next morning to the Portella
de Calm Colomer. You can see the big overhang of snow that I had to get over.
I took the south side and climbed down in the rocks of degree 2.
was a steep north-slope with ice firn. Crampons and a ice pick were very helpfull.
For these two wanderers, who had nothing of them, it was very dangerous.
Malniu I got a wonderful sandwich with "Jamon serrano" . That boosted
the Malniu lodge the markers lead me to a little pitoresque lake in the middle
of a wood.
within my reach but even so I got lost the GR 11 trail and arrived Camping
Pireneus in the dusk short before darkness.
clouds above the Cerdanya massive.
height of the Cerdanya massive. I walked as if I was dreaming. For the first
time I tried to get kilometres as much as I could. I was only curious to see
GR 11 winded a long time at the French border before it went down to Dorria,
the very little village with the old romanic church. It was only just 6 o´clock
in the evening and I choose to hike further to Planoles.
I met two funny Germans from Leipzig. They had crossed the Pyrenees from France
to Spain. Wonderful these spontaneous meetings where everybody told from his
an "ensalada mixta". That was the most beautiful plate that I had
ever got during the whole tour across the Pyrenees.
The hotel complex Nuria,
in which it was expensive and noble.
It was a hard day today
as I climbed up 1600 m. I was very hungry. So I intended to eat so much
and substantial as possible. However the host served some salad and a plate
with a little leg from a chicken with potato chips. To this came cool water
on the table. It was the custom to thank the host for the meal and to show
how content you were with them. But in the night I heard the growling of
rest with big hunger at the Coll du Noufonts 2645 m. Today the GR 11 attains
its greatest height on the Coll d´Tirapits with 2800m.
way to the Refugium d´Ulldeter it began to rain.
hope to get something to eat was the Refugium d´Ulldeter. But the host
regretted that he couldn´t give me something to eat. Randomly I could
take a view into the kitchen and there I saw a baking tin with delicious Bologna
sausages. I confronted him why he didn´t give me one of this sausages.
It is only for wanderers who would stay the night here, he answered and so
I left hungry the lodge as it was too early for me to stay here for the night.
In any way I was frustrated
and passed Setcases without a view. I wasn´t hungry anymore. Some
steps behind Setcases a soft rain was falling down when I thought that I
can surely find a shelter. So I walked higher and higher deep in a thick
forest. But there was no shelter and the rain became heavier. At the Coll
Liens on a meadow I was encased from dens fog. From one moment to another
I had lost my orientation as a lightning over me and a deafening thunder
let me frighten.
I sheded my backpack
and set up my tent with wavering hands in the pouring rain. Then I flopped
myself into the tiny tent, rolled up the mat, pulled the sleeping bag out
of backpack and crawled into it with all my wet clothes. It was a rainy,
windy and restless night.
when the morning dawned the landscape gleamed in a nice red sky as if nothing
happened yesterday night.
before Mollo I hung out my tent, the sleeping bag and all my wet clothes for
drying them. Ready at last I could cook a thick pea soup with half a chorizo.
Incredible what it could tast fine.
Mollo about 12 am. The little "supermarket" was open and I bought
bread, cheese, cherries, milk and beer. Here at the village I took a long
rest before I walked to Camprodon.
Camprodon is a nice
little town with many narrow alleys and a church worth seeing.
Now the European weather
conditions were very good for the next two weeks. I rejoiced at the good
fortune and was determined to continue my tour on the GR 11 into the Central
Pyrenees at Canfranc.
Therefore the next
day I drove with bus and train to Canfranc, in order to start as early as
possible the stage to Sallent de Gallego.
from Mollo to Llanca, Mediterranean Sea.
148 km, 7 days of hiking
is a beautiful village that live very well from tourism.
again old bridges from roman area, here grown with common ivy.
Coll de Bassegoda I had the idea to climb up the Puig de Bassegoda 1374 m.
I hoped to have a very good visibility. But during I scrambled up between
rocks and grass the weather was turning more claudy. The view from up there
became worse. A thunderstorm was treatening. Cautionary I gave up may be 30
m or so below the top of this mountain.
the wood the Puig de Bassegoda.
more I walked east the more the landscape became hot and dry. Many founts
had dried up or were only dripping. As from now I had two bottles of water
de Cabrenys is one of this little towns where it is better to sit down in
the shadow whole the afternoon and drink coffee than to walk.
starved out I went into a little restaurant and ordered a mixed salad. I got
a Catalan salad, with lettuce leafs, tomatos, cheese and sausage. A lovely
meal in the blistering heat.
mediterranean charakter of the landscape was clearly visible the more I came
to east. Now the crickets were chirping and the air glimmered.
before Coll l´Auleda the remains of burnt wood. Over the Pass I hoped
to see the Mediterranean See but there was no good visibility.
Castell de Requesens watched from Requesens. Signposts announced an open bar
in Requesens. I enjoyed to get a coffee and possibly even something to eat.
But when I arrived not a soul was seen and so I had to walk on without having
landscape I couldn´t see anything to get exited about. I dreamt of the
moment in which I could see the blue see. I walked on in blistering heat like
in state of trance. Now and again I took a swallow warm water and went ahead.
Bassegoda I had only slept on a mat under the open sky. Surprisingly I had
no problems with mosquitos. I took a good insect repellent and this was enough
for whole the night. What made me nervous was the permanent lack of water.
Even if I had enough water for drinking, for personal hygiene it could be
oleander in Vilamaniscle. Before I arrived this nice village I had to walk
along time on pistas and roads.
now I was accompanied by agaves and cactuses, the messengers of the Mediterranean
living Desert! If I saw only dry grass then cactuses were a feast for the
in the bay of Llanca I felt great pleasure. What I hadn´t considered
as possible has become true. I hiked on the GR 11 trail from the Atlantik
to the Mediterranian Sea. It was a wonderful and adventurous trekking tour
across the Pyrenees which required good fitness basics and a great deal of
attention to avoid pitfalls along the trail. This tour is belonging to one
of my greatest experiences. I will keep this journey in best memory.
before I hiked with a little backpach from Llanca, here a little part, to
Port Selva and Cap Creus.
lighthouse from Cap Creus seen from sea-direction.
just off the coast Cap Creus. You see the white red marking of the GR 11,
that met accompanied persistently since the Atlantik.
in Arinsal in Andorra early in the morning. From there I took bus, train and
bus to Camprodon and hitchhiked to Mollo. After a quite night I hit the trail
about 9 am. For today I would stay some time in Beget to fotograph this pitoresque
valley of the former monasterie St. Quirze de Colera.
monastery, a basilica from romanesque period. Defiant and gloomy it kept the
entrance of the valley under control. I sat on the terace of a restaurant
and tried to imagine the live in this desert under the ardent sun, permanently
praying and working.
Eventual the long-desired instant was come,
the sea, the longed for Mediterranean See. First I was deeply affected, cheered
loudly but after a while I had to consider again the needs of hiking: looking
at the trail marks, to avoid falling over rocks and stones and thinking about
what to do next. The town on which I saw is Llanca.
Cap Creus at the Mideteranian
Thanks to the great
number of people in Spain maintaining the long-distance way GR 11 and his
red white markers , weather they live in Catalonya, Aragon, Navarre or in
the Basque region. It is a gigantic buisness, which has to coordinate with
a lot of organisations.