On June 9 our walk takes us to the top of a mountain, Mare de Deu del Mont where we spend the night in simple hotel that had been a monastery. The next day we hike down the other side of the mountain to Besalu.
A word about rocky paths is in order. After several days of hiking mountain trails Joann said she didn’t realize how rocky the Pyrenees are. I replied that if the Intuits have 200 words for snow, then the Catalonians must have 200 words for rocky paths. Here are some of my favorites.
Steep trail with
loose rocks, ploughed by wild boars. This looks like a tilling machine had gone
down the trail and turned over the dirt and rocks, making everything in the
trail loose dirt and rocks.
Then there are the
rocks that roll around under your feet, the steep, slick limestone slabs with a
sprinkling of oak leaves and pine needles to challenge your confidence in
secure footing. Fist size rocks, ankle high rocks, rock falls with knee high
boulders. The list could go on.
Many of the trails
we walked are little used, little maintained and sometimes subject to erosion.
At several places on our walks we saw branches that had been cut, presumably to clear the trail for walkers, but the cut branches are usually left in the middle of the trail. Initially I would pick these up and cast them aside, and then I had the revelation that perhaps erosion control is more important than personal convenience. Perhaps the branches are left to help control erosion.
The walk up the mountain was easier than we
had expected. Even so we logged 11.2 miles
(17.5km) with close to 3000 feet of elevation gain. It was 6:30 pm when
we reached to hotel, overcast and starting to rain lightly.
June 10 we start
down the mountain to Besalu. Another long day, neither of us are very fast
going down hill with aching knees. Joann had thoughts of taking the taxi down
with our baggage, but we persevered and took our time. Near the top of the
mountain we were hiking through lovely pine forests with lush grass and
wildflowers. By mid-day the pine forest had given way to the oaks of the lower
At 4 pm we reached the little town of Beuda. We were hoping to buy a snack here. In this part of the world business close after the lunch hour and remain closed to 6 pm or so. Nothing is open, and there isn’t much here to begin with. We see a couple of people leaving a restaurant, so we step inside, The manager takes pitty on us, and we have coke and fruit salad. There is also an ancient church here, Church Sant Feliu de Beuda first documented in 1004.
It’s 7:35 pm when we reach Casa Marsial, our accommodations for the night. We logged 12.7 miles (19.2 km). Even so, after dinner, I have to explore the bridge which was well lit and looked like an invitation for some nighttime photography.