Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thursday 30 July 2015 - Pyrenees GR11 - Day 46 - El Port de la Selva (Hostal German) to Cap de Creus (wild camp)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Distance: 17 km (Cum: 838 km)

Ascent: 500 metres (Cum: 44700 metres)

Time taken: 5.1 hrs including 1.1 hrs stops (Cum: 332.7 hrs including 64.7 hrs stops)

Weather: thunder claps to wake the unwary, then overcast, cool and windy with occasional sunny periods

A lovely final day on the trail - apart from tomorrow's short walk out to Cadaqués.

Hostal German provided a good base in El Port de la Selva, a town I quickly grew to like.

The day started with a call to Sue. We first met exactly twenty years ago today. At the luggage carousel in Toulouse airport. The rest is history.

My pressure sored foot is much better, thanks to the crepe bandaging. I wonder whether the Keen shoes have quite enough support for the ball of the foot in certain conditions.

There are surprisingly few seagulls. I would have expected more.

A leisurely start found me breakfasting on snacks fom the Spar shop before hitting the trail at 10 am under clearing skies.

Then pleasant paths led me in a shade over five hours to Cap de Creus at the end of the peninsula. Near the start I met a tourist train from Roses, and there were quite a number of walkers and mountain bikers on the paths.

Lunch was a snack en route beyond the interesting remains of Sant Baldiri de Taballera. For a change it was possible to enter this church. It has been re-roofed but the interior is a wreck.

Having washed self and clothes, I wasn't so attractive to flies today, and I found myself walking ever more slowly in a bid to delay the inevitable (finishing). I yearned for just that at times over the past few hard days, but now it was with reluctance that I turned to the last page of the guidebook and the last strip of map.

There are ruined farmhouses and disused terracing, even remnants of an ancient village, next to the path, which eventually reaches the road from Cadaqués and makes a valiant attempt not to follow the road but to wend it's way through nearby undergrowth.

Self-timed photos were taken and I looked without success for a well hidden camping place. It was very windy. So I just headed for the bar-restaurant, ordered a large beer and enquired as to what was the 'fish of the day'. A large fish was produced to me on a platter. It looked ok so off they went to cook it.

Delicious. Expensive.

Duly satiated I went off in the other direction and found a less windy spot to pitch the tent, from where I can watch the sea from the open door. The trouble is the tent's quite visible. I soon had a visit from a couple of gents who told me that if the rangers caught me I'd be fined €300. A bit of a dampener on an otherwise good day.
I decided to stay put in the hope that the rangers had gone home and I'd be away before they start work tomorrow. Also, by now (7 pm) it was raining.

Will there be a postscript to this entry?

I'll write about highlights, gear, etc at leisure over the next few days. Just now I feel like a long sleep to the gentle sound of the rain.

Today's pictures:
El Port de la Selva from GR11
The Roses Express
Sant Baldiri de Taballera
Sant Baldiri de Taballera interior
Fish of the day
An illegal wild camp (I wonder when and where the tent will next be used?)

Next Day - Day 47

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9 comments:

afootinthehills said...

When I heard you had pressure sores I did think it might be the Keen shoes but didn't want to sow that particular seed in your mind. I've had seven pairs of Keen Mid boots and three pairs of shoes and have found that there comes a point in their life when they cause me real trouble if I persist in wearing them. The balls of my feet become extremely painful if I walk long long, and even not so long distances in them on hard or very stony ground.I even suspect an early pair damaged a toe joint.

I've never had pressure sores but then I wasn't forced to wear them day after day carrying a heavy pack in high temperatures. Nowadays at the first sign of trouble I ditch them.

A regular blogger at Conrads finds much the same thing.



Jules said...

Congratulations - well done, and what a rewarding undertaking. I'm sure you have mixed feelings at the moment, glad and sad to have finished, but perspective will return over the next few days.

Interesting thoughts on the footwear. Last year, I was rather hampered by painful feet on my Camino walk, yet I was using boots (Brasher Kanika) that had been wonderful up to that point - comfortable on all surfaces over reasonable distances in all weathers. Then it seemed like all the spring, flex and comfort just disappeared, almost overnight, and I think they had simply got to the point where their elasticity (for want of a better word) went. This proved hard work on hard tarmac and stony tracks, leaving the soles of my feet blistered and bruised, and me thinking about nothing else but that method of torture - the one where they beat the soles of your feet - for hours every day!

A great achievement, though, and another one in that increasingly-long list of long distance adventures.

PS. Thanks for the great read over the last few weeks!

afootinthehills said...

Oh, and Happy Anniversary to you and Sue.

Nightbird said...

Congrats Martin! A job well done - despite the challenges you have faced up to admirably - sore feet, cows, dogs, and other unmentionables! Happy Anniversary too,Sue is looking forward to seeing you. We had our last Deepest Cheshire walk for this summer on Thurs, and raised a glass to you in celebration.

AlanR said...

Nice one Martin. I know you have had issues with the weather causing foot and maybe stomach troubles but it must be so nice to walk with regular warm/hot/humid/blue sky weather. I have had a fantastic journey following you to the Med. You must also be well up on your Spanish vocabulary also.
Enjoy whats left. Cheers.

Harry Ardiff said...

Congratulations Martin on completing the GR11. There were challenges along the way which you overcame. I have enjoyed reading the blog - my first - I brought me back to our walks in Panticosa which is great when I am at my desk and getting my work done. Thanks again for taking me along the small part of the route. Happy Anniversary and look forward to meeting up in October. Harry

afootinthehills said...

"Long long" should just be 'long'!

Alan Sloman said...

In my more athletic days I got through piles of running shoes. My favourites were Brooks Chariots (that shows how long ago it was) and the exact same thing used to happen to them.
The EVA mid sole suddenly "goes" and then it's like running on concrete. I went over to Nike Airs and never experienced the problem again.

What a walk. What an effort. What a feet! (koff)
Jolly well done.
20 years?
That farmer with the shotgun will be out in twenty years...
:-)

Phreerunner said...

Thanks everyone, comments much appreciated albeit very limited time to read them due to entering a more sociable phase of the trip.
I like the Keen shoes, and they still have lots of life in them, but perhaps they just weren't ideal in certain conditions.