Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pyrenees Day 3: hillside above Barranco de Sandaruelo -> Torla

I wake up at around 6:00; it's still dark and raining; shit! back to sleep.
At 7:30 the rain is gone, the sky is blue, and there are cool clouds moving in and out of the valley. yay!
After giving the tent some time to dry in the sun and having breakfast, we start down to Torla at 10:00. We head down and down through mud and around (mostly) cow shit.

The first sign of impending civilization is a group of canyoners down in the gorge. We are soon walking down past other groups of canyoners and unprepared tourists on their way up (reminiscent of Yosemite Falls). We arrive at the Puenta de Bujaruelo (1338m, 12:00) and have a short break while gawking at (and enjoying!) the tourist madness.
Here we pick up the GR11 and head onwards towards Torla. We spend a while on a very nice, shady, soft path through the forest along the gorge and have lunch in a great meadow with a view back the way we came. We miss the turnoff for the scenic route down (suggested in Zu Fuss), but we probably wouldn't have taken that anyway. The path turns into road unfortunately early and we spend far too long on road. It's hot! hot! and humid! hot and humid! Finally end up on a gravel road that reflects the heat quite nicely. gacks.

The final insult is a steep climb up into town on a cobblestone road. But then we're there (1030m, 4:00). Of course all the shops are closed (it's siesta). We get a hotel room (Edelweiss Hotel), shower, shop, do some laundry in the sink, have a beer, stroll around town a bit, and eat dinner (A'Border Samper: boring but acceptable and reasonable cheap). Torla is a small town with a pretty high tourist density that seems to be doing pretty well (plenty of renovated houses and things mostly in good shape).

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