Thursday, October 24, 2019

Carros de Foc day 6, to Colomers, 7/20/09

Farewell, Amitges!
Up nice and early for breakfast – bread and cheese and hot cocoa – and then got packed and ready to go. Today was another 2-refuge day, and I was a little nervous. The distances were described as being 2-3 hours each, but I didn’t know if we could believe that. So I wanted to get an early start.

We set off on the path toward Saboredo, and sorta before we knew it we had reached the pass. Very nice and easy.

Then down, and we could glimpse Saboredo in the distance. It took a while to reach the refuge, but we actually heard it before we saw it again.

We crossed fields that had obviously recently been covered in snow...

Finally, we arrived.

The warden, an odd young man with a big white dog, was listening to a remixed jazz record (Nina Simone, perhaps?) at full volume. Nice. I had a little fantasy about Wil and I living there with an unlimited supply of books and needlepoint. And a dog. A big white dog.

Saboredo was an odd little refuge -- one small room with three, eight-person bunks.

We got our forfaits stamped (#8!) and then moved on. Oddly enough, it had taken us almost exactly 3 hours, despite a few breaks. So that was cool.

Then on to the next refuge: Colomers. I think we may have gone the wrong way at some point, but it was easy enough getting up to the pass. Down, well, we followed the main trail over the rocks when perhaps we should have trusted our instincts. Then after clearing the rocks, we went to the left through some trees along the edge of a ridge… rather than going straight down. This was probably not the standard choice, but it was a trail, and we were going roughly the right direction, so we continued.

Both of us ran out of water at this point – not good – and when we had found our way by Lac Cloto de Baish, we discovered that we hadn’t received any drink in our lunch. Boo. (That’s the 1 strike against Amitges – the rest of the lunch was lovely.)

But we walked and a little farther found a sign for Colomers. So after going up and around a small hill, we could see the dam and the refuge at the end below us. Nearly home!

But of course there was still a lot of descending to do, and then a final scramble up to the dam. And then we realized that the new building farther along the lake was the refuge (wonder when that was built?). So a few hundred more yards of up and down, thirsty in the hot sun, and we were there.

Colomers was a strange place -- full of day trippers and large groups, and with a slightly unpleasant staff. The woman who checked us in seemed offended that we didn't eat fish. Oh well.

The hostel also only offered cold showers ... which we demurred. We would be having hot baths the next day!

Our stay at Colomers was strange, and populated with not very nice people – staff OR guests. But we just kept remembering that we were almost finished. At dinner people didn’t want to make room for us even when the staff lady asked them to. And at first we were seated across from each other, which meant we had to shout – which, in a room full of excited day-trippers, is still difficult to hear. But a kind Frenchman offered to switch, so we were saved.

Not the best dinner – a noodle soup to start, then a meatless lentil dish, and then – for us – fried eggs. The omnivores had whole fish. The woman next to us, who happened to be “the other vegetarian” told the hostel that she ate fish… but she couldn’t face it when it arrived as it was a whole fish, head and skin and all.

Then there was time to kill after dinner. We chatted with the Spanish ladies, tried to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes, and then decided to get ourselves set for the next morning and an early start.

As we went to bed a huge thunderstorm blew in – from out of nowhere it seemed – with pelting rain. This made people close the windows in the dorm, which meant that, by midnight, the heat was stifling. I barely slept.

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