Monday, October 21, 2019

Carros de Foc day 3, to Colomina, 7/17/09

Perfect day! Got a decent night's sleep and a decent breakfast. Said goodbyes to some of our friends -- the Swedish sisters, the Spanish family who's dad thought he had a broken hand so decided to end their trip a day early, and the French family with dog -- who were, sadly, ending their trip because their dog was poorly. Had a little cry thinking about their pooch.

But then we headed out, climbing gradually through a forest until we reached a ridge we followed around.

We dropped down to a lake and crossed a boulder field that, though it involved some jumping and scrambling, and went on for a long time, had obvious trail markers.

Then we went up and over a pass -- only 200 meters less than yesterday's pass, but lovely and zig-zaggy and not very rocky. The Collada des Dellui had me breathless but I blame the altitude.

A brief pause at the top -- too windy to linger -- and then a quick descent down to the Estany Eixerola.

Nice wander along the lakes -- Monola, Tort -- and we took a lovely long lunchbreak overlooking Estany Mariola. Nice picnics today -- huge cheese sandwiches, nuts, pineapple juice, an apple, and a KitKat.

Then back on our feet and along Estany Tort. We reached a couple of points where you could walk along the top of a dam or go up and down to get to the other side. We decided that discretion was the better part of valor and stuck to the low route. A couple of times we saw people start across the dams, get freaked out, and have to be helped across. Ha.

Got to one point with a faint trail up a hill and another faint trail following some old rail tracks. We decided that any decent guide would mention train tracks, so it must not be the route. It was. We ended up going up and over the hill rather than gently around it. Oh well.

So we followed the tracks for 15 minutes or so, and then turned up the steep slope to Colomina. 30 minutes of steep climbing on a nice path -- and there it was.

Beautiful shot of Colomina from their website:

Really pretty -- they've got Tibetan prayer flags, the logo incorporates a dove, and they've got 4 16-bed rooms instead of a massive 70-bed room.

The staff is sweet -- they keep smiling at us -- even when we arrived behind a large group of first-nighters who were fiddling with their forfaits. But we got some rum and cokes and went to sit by the lake.


We walked partway round the lake -- there's Colomina on the other side:

And were worried we might not get back because our path was (temporarily) blocked:

The evening was interesting – the horrible noisy group of 8 were annoying at dinner (and of course we had to sit with them…). They complained about the food, which seems stupid to do in the middle of nowhere. We had a cream of mushroom soup, a big salad, and veggie cannelloni. The omnivores received a meaty “hotpot” sort of thing, but asked (after it had been served) to have what we were having. The cute staff lady asked them if they were vegetarian. They said no. So she said no. :)

Nice thing: before dinner we spoke – haltingly – to the quiet Spanish ladies and they taught me how to play dominoes. It seems that they are on exactly the same schedule we are, which means we’ll have “friends” in every refuge.

It was difficult to find quiet after dinner – noisy group stayed in the common room, and it had gotten far too cold and windy to go outside, even with our down jackets on. So we – and the Spanish ladies, it turned out – retreated upstairs to our dormitory, where Wil and I played Trivial Pursuit till it was time to sleep.

The day's route was perfect -- no real scrambling, and at just over 5 hours of hiking, about as described time-wise. More importantly, I never feared for my life. And the next day was scheduled to be easy, too.

next to Colomina at the lake

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