It was the day on the road. We were driving well maintained Spanish roads, crossing from time to time Camino de Santiago. It is the pilgrimage route existing more than one thousand years. It ends in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.
We spent the night by the river. The water was freezing, however, we made a little laundry. As for the bath, I preferred to take it in our camp shower where the water was a few degrees warmer. We were somewhere in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Jurek was telling the stories about wolves, comforting that they do not approach people. As usual on the wild camping, Kaprys was barking several times. And then I was listening attentively if anything comes close to us. But even if any animal does, it won’t open the door, right?
We were heading to the town of Vielha, but I found on the map incredibly narrow road into the mountains from the village called Aneto. We planned to fill our food supplies there and then walk into mountains. Plans… Aneto was charming. Just a few stone and stylish houses separated by 2 meters streets from each other. We had the impression nobody was living there. We passed by closed hostel and restaurant. The bar was open, but they served food after one hour. In the end, we met people with three dogs. Well, we will have to take our Wasa bread on the trail.
The scenic route traversed through the Pyrenees. There was speed limit 20 km/h on the entire length of it. It was probably the worst road in Spain. Lots of holes and torn edges. But it wasn’t surprising according to the fact, that it leads on the mountainside, from which many stones are falling. Barriers are often bent or non-existent due to avalanches.
Picturesque landscape stretched out behind the windows. Huge mountains, deep valleys, steep slopes. Eagles circled over our heads. And we climbed higher and higher. We passed the rock roofs protecting against falling rocks and reached the tunnel. The road ended here according to our GPS. The tunnel was lit but made a quite scary impression. Especially when you have no idea, where it leads. Carved in the rock, with leaking water here and there. Something was written on the open gate. My knowledge of Spanish is not that good. I understood only that the door is closed when there are indications for this. There were also cameras inside. We stopped to discuss options. I sent a message to a friend Michal asking for the translation of the word “peligro”, which was written everywhere. He replied it means “danger”. Well, all the road on the edge of the abyss from Aneto was dangerous. After discussing the pros and cons, the decision was made. We examine the tunnel!
We drove carefully into the dark depths, looking for their end. Where was it going? Maybe it was a dead end? Or lavished? Maybe there was still construction work going on? Or the road continued after the tunnel?
Then we saw the light on the other end. And a huge dam, several cars, and hiking trails. Hurrah!
I changed shoes and we went to the mountains. We walked part of the route GR 11, which runs 750 km along the Pyrenees. The trail led through the boulders, streams, and meadows. Kaprys was doing very well. I had to take him on my hands only twice. Once the stones were inclined at a very large angle and the abyss stretched on the left. For the second time over a stream through which flipped was admittedly board, but the water bathed it with much force. I didn’t want it washed away my 4,5 kg dog.
At one point we heard the sound of some animal. We looked around and spotted it far in the distance. First, we thought it was a large bird. I grabbed the leash tighter, afraid of kidnapping. 😉 But then we saw on the camera approximation, it was the marmot! We’ve seen more of them during our walk. Sometimes very close. And Kaprys sensed them around ready for hunting. I saw marmot for the first time in my life. I must admit I was more pleased than seeing macaques on Gibraltar.
We got to the lake. We ate bread and drank water. It was getting late so we decided to finish the trek. We didn’t see the summit Pico Aneto, but at least we walked in the mountains enjoying extraordinary landscapes and enormous space. We climbed to a height of 2480 meters above sea level.
We reached the car hungry and frozen. After the sunset temperature drops very quickly. By the riddled road with 20 km/h limit, the ruined hut was standing. We stopped to drink hot tea and coffee. The building was perfect for a tourist shelter. Spectacular views from each side, running water (from which we naturally took advantage of). We sat on a bench covering the feet with a blanket lying there.
In the darkness, we passed lighted Aneto and then, through the tunnels (one of over 5 km length) reached Vielha. Unfortunately, we saw it only in the night, but still, we liked it a lot. Stone, lit buildings, all nice and neat. Many people were strolling or eating in restaurants. Lively town even late in the evening. Our goal was to buy food. Supermercado was totally amazing! Very big, with low prices and huge selection. The whole lobster or octopus, beef and pork haunches, kiwi or pumpkin jams, wine for just 1-3 euros. We did large purchase for 36 euros. Why the rich Denmark has no such stores?
A few kilometers behind Vielha we stopped at the parking lot and after delicious dinner went to bed.