Yesterday's trail was fantastic (and felt fantastic on my foot, too!) so I'm hoping for more of the same today. Thankfully, I don't have too far to hike until I hit a road, and then only a few more kilometers until I reach my end destination and rendezvous with Crash.
If I do it right, this will basically be an on-trail near-o.
Once I hit the road, I realized that it was a proper highway, but with a cliff face on one side, and a cliff edge on the other. (And no proper shoulders or anything to walk along). Looks like I'm gonna hitch this one!
Of course, right as I was about to stick out my thumb, a bus pulled up! It was like the Knight Bus from Harry Potter. Anyway, I pointed to where I wanted up go (on my phone) and the driver said "¡Sí!" so I gave him €6.20 and climbed aboard.
A short while later (during which I looked out the window and the width of the road only confirmed my decision to not walk it), we were at the trailhead -- which I learned was very popular with day hikers -- and I hopped out and started hiking. Five steps later, I realized that I'd left my hat back at the bus stop where I had been picked up. Damn. Oh well, I guess I'll suncreen it up!
After lathering up, I got to stepping -- it was only a few kilometers to our rendezvous point. The chosen point was a refuge right at the start of the trail up to Pico de Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees. Our plan was to meet there, camp somewhere nearby, then climb the peak early the next morning.
In (comparatively) no time, I reached the refuge. It was only about 11:15 am, and I had no idea when Crash would show up. (He also didn't have a SIM for his phone so I really had no idea (not that I had service at the refuge))
There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and there was a creek nearby, so this meant a few things:
After doing all the above, I was clean, my gear was clean, and we were all dry. And it was only like 1pm. What a day.
In order to avoid the roasting sun (now that it was a liability instead of an asset) I went into the refuge. I only lasted in there maybe 15 minutes though because the kitchen smelled amazing and I was hungry .. but I had run out of cash. Sitting in there was torturous, so I headed back outside and reapplied sunscreen before finding various grass patches to nap in (there were essentially no trees, meaning no shade).
I also befriended the property's cat. She had kittens who I didn't try to bother because they were running around doing their kitten things.
Around 7, Crash showed up. We chatted with some hikers returning from the peak and asked them about the conditions and they insisted that crampons and ice axes are essential -- damn, neither of us have these things. Okay, well let's scrap the summit plans.
We hiked out a few kilometers and set up camp in a grove of trees under a clear sky (yay, cowboy camping).