Cliff WalkAug 14 2019

Near-o #2: Bielsa

Map thumbnail of location

Okay, let's give this town thing another try -- just a few kilometers away we have another town, called Bielsa. But once again: gotta get there first!

The sunrise from our mountain ridgeline was spectacular, highlighting the valleys and peaks below us.

That's the start of the canyon we walked yesterdayThat's the start of the canyon we walked yesterday
The light changed dramatically by the minuteThe light changed dramatically by the minute

We had a high trail with some slight scrambling sections, which made our time fly by. Maybe an hour later, our destination valley was in sight!

Just over that ridgeline is the river valley which takes us to Bielsa.Just over that ridgeline is the river valley which takes us to Bielsa.

Once we got a proper look at the valley, we realized it was a(nother) proper Cirque, with waterfalls and dramatic cliffs rising from the valley floor.

Looking down into the valleyLooking down into the valley
Bielsa is somewhere there off to the leftBielsa is somewhere there off to the left

Now all that was left was the descent -- all 1500 meters of it. Straight down.

And I mean it: Straight. Down.And I mean it: Straight. Down.

After a long journey (just ask our knees), we got to the bottom of the valley. We hung out in the shade for a bit, eating some snacks and drinking some water. Eventually, we realized we were burning Town Time, so we shouldered our packs and began doing the 16-kilometer road walk into town.

Ah, nature.Ah, nature.

It didn't take long for me to realize this was a bad idea for my injured foot, so I stuck out my thumb instead. In a few minutes, a wonderful Spanish couple pulled over and gave me a lift into town center.

I made a few calls and, after calling a few fully-booked hotels, landed us the last room at this little family-run place that was quaint and nice.

The streets of BielsaThe streets of Bielsa

They didn't have a laundry we could use, and didn't know where one would be, so we bought a bar of soap at the store and just did laundry in the tub -- better than nothing! To help things dry, I put on my wet clothes and went and walked in the sun/wind and was dry in no time.

During this walk, I find a Spanish woman feeding a stray cat and get kittens, which was really cute. She walked me through which one was the madre (pretty obvious) and the niñas y niños (less obvious), and what all their names were.

Overall, Bielsa is much better than Gavarnie.

GR11Aug 16 2019