Ascent: 100 metres (Cum: 34450 metres)
Time taken: 5.1 hrs including 1.3 hrs stops (Cum: 255.4 hrs including 51.4 hrs stops)
Weather: blue sky start, hazy and hot, clouding over later.
Another night of good sleep with a messy awakening saw me in the shower at 7 am. Shame they don't turn the heating on until 8 am.
I joined the others as they polished off a lavish breakfast at the refuge. I still didn't feel like eating.
Thankfully today's short walk was mainly downhill, but in progressively increasing heat, so nevertheless quite hard work on a stomach that's been empty for two days.
It started windless and hot. There were mosquitoes so we only paused briefly to check the notoriously confusing waymarks. We managed fine. We are experts.
André was savouring every moment as this was his last day of walking before he goes to explore Toulouse for a few days then returns to Geneva to help out his 95 year old mother. He will be back at a cooler time of year to complete GR11.
The hazy views aren't really suited to snapshots, hence few images today. But the views across the plateau to our next target were excellent, and further to the south the wall of mountains looked like one side of the Ordesa Canyon (how long ago does that feel?).
We seemed to bypass a restaurant in Guils de Cerdánya, which was a shame - a cold drink would have been good. Some signposting from above, rather than below, would have helped. Both that village and Saneja a bit further on were deserted. Apparently they comprise second homes for people from Barcelona, who just use them at weekends and in August. They make English and Welsh villages that comprise mainly holiday homes seem positively vibrant.
On entering Puigcerdà we headed, as recommended by Humphrey, to the Tèrminus Hotel. The three Dutch, somewhere behind us, were booked in there. But it's fiesta time, with a fun fare outside. Noisy, and we know the Spanish enjoy their late nights. My nose started to bleed at the very thought of it! (First of the trip - inevitable.)
So after much debate we went up a lift to the upper town and booked into a 'Pension' - Hotel Maria Victoria. €30 each for B&B is rather a lot for our very basic room for three. I really need a rest day, but can I cope with this place for two nights?
As mentioned in a comment, André seems actually quite pleased that he has finally arrived at the sort of hotel for which he holds Spain in such esteem - a very basic room with no loo roll, soap or hot water. And when he and Tobi went out and tried to return to the room they weren't recognised without their rucksacks and nearly failed to get in! The lady boss has been hugely apologetic ever since.
A break on the descent
View from Puigcerdà
One for our guru, Humphrey, who we thank for his recommendations, in one of which I enjoyed my first proper meal since Encamp
Next Day - Day 37
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