I woke up and yesterday’s mystery was solved. The mist had dissolved overnight again. I was at the beach but not in Banyul. I made it to the Lac de Mar yesterday and now I could see why it was supposed to be so beautiful.

So I guess there was more hiking to be done until Banyul. Into the morning sun.

I was just glad that I hadn’t camped lower tonight.

And of course the usual up and down. First climb down to a Refugio, then up again passing a lake, down again, up again and so on…

And then it was all downhill to Salardu. I originally had planned to pass Salardu and hike on a direct route to a Refugio to join the trail again but I was just to low on food. And the next stretch is the most remote one from all with only few serviced huts. And my food would not last another two or more days to the next resupply town. So I made the call to go into Salardu and change my resupply strategy.

The obligatory stop in the Refugio along the way for a double-Coke (or 1000 calories) and then I had 10km road walk ahead of me straight to town. Pretty boring stuff. The only good thing was that I did not have to watch my steps anymore and my feet got a bit of a boulder-break. So I used to upload two blog entries from the last days. Since my original setup is not working anymore I now have to write the article offline without the pictures and whenever I have reception I have to upload the text and then manually upload every single picture into the spot where I want it to be. So I create a new folder for the blog pictures of each day and then put photo-numbers as placeholder into the next so I know where to put them. But it is still super annoying since I end up reading the text again and looking at the photos again days later to figure out what I actually wanted… But there still does not seem to be an offline blogging app available on this planet. Unbelievable.

I arrived in Salardu at around 3pm and had to learn that the supermarket would only open at 5pm again – Siesta time. 🙈

Nothing I could do about it. So I went to a restaurant to get a good meal and do the route and new food planning for the next days. When I wanted to charge my battery pack in the restaurant the drama began. The plug to charge the battery pack broke when I tried to connect it. The USB plug just disappeared in the inside of the battery. Nothing I could do about it anymore. Broken. Half charged but no possibility to ever charge it again. I was now going into the most remote area of the Pyrenees and definitely need the battery for navigation. Google maps told me there where three outdoor stores and a grocery store in the next village Baqueira. So I finished my meal quickly and ran the 4km uphill to the store. I was soaked in sweat from the heat and the run. Not to mention that I had walked half of the way down already when I came out of the valley earlier. If I would have known I could have turned right instead of left right away. But anyways… The first outdoor shop was completely closed the second one luckily open. So I asked about batty-packs and my broken watch too. But no luck. Be said that in summer they are stacked very low and only for the winter they all open and have a broader selection. Also the supermarket was closed in summer. He said my only chance would be Vielha. But it was only 12km away and there were busses. I thanked him and went back on the road. That messed up my plan completely and I just ran into the other direction away from Vielha. It was already past 5pm. Checked the bus schedule but the next one should only leave at 9.40pm. So on the road and hitchhiking! Quickly changed my shirt so I wouldn’t get kicked out right away again and what can I say – the third car stopped and a guy who worked for a bike shop in Vielha gave me a lift. We had a nice chat about the mountains and he gave me a few tips where to look for the battery and the watch. So down I went into the town.

First stop in a sports store fixed my watch problem. So I now have a new and working watch/altimeter again! Second stop also gave me a new battery-pack. Unfortunately this one was not charged. So the lady offered me to charge it while I went into the supermarket. Deal. Did the food shopping and put some off-trail miles in town. When I returned to the shop it was only half charged. Not enough I was afraid. So now I am carrying both battery packs and of course also the broken watch as well. Bye-bye ultra-light 😂

The fourth car gave me lift back to Baqueira. A guy from Belgium who just came from the sea with fully equipped Van. I now tried to find a smart way to get back on the trail. The shortest and most direct way seemed up a curvy road.

And then straight up a ski run. Quick stop in the posh-place 😎

And 1.5h later I was on the trail again. Now I only needed water and a good place to pitch my tent. Just off the pist I found this lovely spot:

When I had settled in and just wanted to start cooking a herd of sheep was chased down the hill right passed my tent. They all wear bells. What a sound… And at last the shepherd came and we had a quick chat. He told me that he had 1.200 sheep in his herd and that it was a crazy race. But they would give the best subsidies from the government 🤣🤷‍♂️

And of course he gave me a little good night story on the way. He said that there are bears out here. One took four of his sheep on the hill just behind me. And a cow last year. Hasta luego y buenas noches… 🙈