Early morning feeling.

Besides a bit of rain and some lightnings in the distance I had a wonderful night. Only the tent was soaking wet this moment which probably made it twice as heavy as usual.

I am so stiff in the mornings now it really takes me quite a while until I can stop hobbling. Also the big downhill steps are hard in these conditions. But anyways it was only going downhill this morning. And then I saw the first sign since the beginning which actually announced the “HRP” as a trail: “Alta Ruta Pirinenca”!

Through the little town of Noarre (no road access to the town).

And up the hill again on the other side. I was happy. Steep and I still didn’t run well with my morning hobbling but at least the trails were good again.

My first target today was the manned Refugio Cercastan which would (hopefully) give me a real lunch. So I ran up the Col de Cercastan and down on the other side.

And yes! Lentils with meatballs!!! 💪 2 Cokes on top and I took a 10′ nap while my phone, camera and batter-pack were charging inside. The Refugio had a cool 3D map of the Pyrenees. That’s were I was now:

And then the shit began again. The trail from Cercastan to the Pont de Boavi again was a disaster. The hanging trail was overgrown most of the time and on top the dry tussock grass was laying on it. If you have ever walked on it you know it’s like soap on a flat surface. Super dangerous. And then the “trail” hit the forest and it got even worse. At some point the trail was not visible anymore and also no cairns in sight. So bushwhacking again. I even crossed to the other side of the gorge but that didn’t help for long. So back and again through the forest.

DON’T do it!! Apparently there is an alternative which is very nice to walk. Check your maps before you go. It spikes off ca. 10-15 minutes after you leave Cercastan when the trail starts to climb up again in zig-zags. Take the trail instead which continues straight and has red and white marks. This also brings you into the valley just a couple hundred meters below the bridge.

I did get my afternoon boost again. The next 1000m to the Col de Sellente were done in 1.5h instead of the 3h in the guide book. And guess what – beautiful trail again! 🤷‍♂️

On the other side the weather looked a bit more dramatic. But so far all dry.