The national park “Picos de Europa” is a mountain chain located in the north of Spain. There is a 4×4-trail running through it, which is open for the public. Unfortunately we have no pictures of it, because we were so busy staying on it with our truck. The result of this adventure was a flat tire. The changing of the tire, though, is very well documented:
Actually we did not go there to do the trail, but to do some mountain hiking. We wanted to stay the night in the middle of the park to go walking the next day. Though you are allowed to drive with your car through the park, there is no chance to stay there for the night. Late in the evening a ranger came to our place to tell us that we had to leave.
There is a story about a name of a Mitsubishi 4×4-model that did not comply to political correctness in all languages. During a midnight meal with the warden of the hostel we were staying close to two days ago I asked him if the story was true. He confirmed that “Pajero” in Spanish slang means “wanker”. So, I wondered, if this particular model is called Pajero in Spain as well. Yesterday I found out:
I am surrounded by wonderful nature looking at the ocean and keep asking myself this question. I am still convinced that we are heading in the right direction: to Portugal and to a new sustainable life. But are we travelling fast enough?
We started to contact eco villages in Portugal, and they are responding. If we want, we can begin to work on an eco-farm as soon as possible. But instead of going there directly, we let ourselves be distracted by the Pyrenees and the Atlantic ocean. We use our pets as an excuse. They get stressed by long rides with the truck as do we. Even short trips of 100 kilometres can be very stressful in the heat of Spain in summer. We are telling ourselves that we should enjoy the travel because we won’t have one for quite some time. I guess, we have to live with this ambiguity until we will arrive in Portugal – in three weeks or so…
The Pic de Vallibierna is a 3.067m high summit close to the highest mountain of the Pyrenees, the Pic de Aneto, 3.404m of altitude. In the picture above Pic de Vallibierna is the little white top in the middle. The locals say that at this time of year there is still a lot of snow up there and you need crampons and ice picks to climb it. Yesterday, we went up there Monday-style: using summer boots and taking our dog with us.
Well, actually we didn’t succeed, because we left out the last 200m walk on a very exposed ridge, which you can see in the background of the picture above. Our dog suffers from vertigo ;-).
But the journey is the reward, and we enjoyed the hike and the wonderful views. We left our truck at a parking spot close to a reservoir…
… and left early next morning using the path via the chalet Refugio Cap de Llauset.
From the top we had an excellent view over the highest mountains of the Pyrenees as well as the reservoir, where we could spot our truck with binoculars.
Right now, we are setting up a record for the slowest travel to Portugal. We are on the way for three weeks and we have managed only half the distance. I think we are distracted by the wonderful attractions of France, Andorra and Spain too much…
I don’t know if it’s because of curiosity or boredom, but four weeks ago our cat named Che Guevara decided to accompany us when we walk the dog. Since then we pushed his limits continuously further. Now he is doing even long walks of one or two hours and a few kilometres like in Andorra, where we parked next to a pass and hiked up a mountain of 2600 metres altitude.
This picture was taken just a few minutes before I had to leave Brazil. It resembles exactly how I felt that moment. My body was about to go, but I’d rather stay there. Three years I lived in Brazil, almost every day wearing short trousers. When I entered Brazil the first time, I was allergic to heat and insects. That’s definitely gone now. Today I am allergic to temperatures below zero and whole months without a single ray from the sun.
When I watch pictures from Brazil, it starts to feel like an episode from Star Wars (“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…). My life changed extremely the last months, and because I was very distracted, only now I realize how much I miss friends and the Brazilian way of life.
I miss the frequent walks with the dogs with my neighbours Irene and Flavio as well as the wildlife encounters on the road and on the farm.
I miss Jamie, that crazy bastard, and get-togethers with friends and my swimming team.
I miss the cynical but rather accurate South American art and satire.
I even miss the concrete monster called Brasília, sushi Brazilian style with cream cheese, frequent power cuts, broken shower heaters and missing toilet lids.
But most of all I miss you guys. I hope I am going to see you in another galaxy someday in the not too far future…