Posted by: Talie Morrison | September 2, 2012

Pyrenees 5/Talie 5

I may not be winning, but I think I might be gaining!  🙂
Wow are these mountains BIG.   They are big and beautiful and intense!   I have just finished going over the highest pass on the HRP.   It was pretty intense –  I think my mountain climbing buddies in Crested Butte would love this stuff – but I am usually feeling like I am going to wet my pants!!   If you have been following my Spot, you might notice it has been on a lot the last couple of days –  I usually only turn it on when I am in “dicey” areas or once when I get to my site for the night.   Well it’s been a bit dicey lately!  But, all is well – I’m feeling great and doing days with 9 hours of going over boulders, steep passes, scree slopes, and even some nice little trails once in a while!

You  should  have seen me “down climbing” about 50 meters!   It was some serious 3/1 climbing (have 3 things solid before you move the 4th)!  I was totally running on high adrenaline!  And now the book says I’m going into the hardest part of the trail – yikes!

   I have met 5 people who are doing the whole Haute Route (all of them faster than me – but then none of them are in their 60s).   I have also met my first American hiking over here (not doing the HRP) – another solo female from Colorado  (Denver).   Maybe I am passing Americans on the trail, you just say “Hola” or “Bonjour”, but the many nights I have eaten in the “refugios”, I haven’t heard of any other Americans out here.   I did meet another German man who has the same Aarn backpack as I do!   That was so exciting for me since I’ve never seen anyone else on the trail with one!  Way fun!!
A couple of days ago I passed by a really fancy resort (Hospital de Benesque – the “hospital” is a deritive of “hospitality”) I decided to get a room so I could soak my feet (even if it was way expensive!)  and it started lightening and thundering and raining and hailing  about 3:30 am!   I commended myself for a very wise decision! :-).
  My pack is still heavy – but I mailed home 3.2 kilos (I think that’s about 7 lbs) – it has made my life a lot nicer!  I’m not carrying a stove any more, so when I am camped out in the wilds, I do miss a hot cup of tea – but when I am huffing and puffing up a pass, I don’t miss it at all!  And trying to mail something from a “remote” post office in France is a story in itself!  :-).
Now I am in a little town of Salardu, Spain — very  beautiful old buildings in the old part of town — and I’m staying in a B&B that is a museum and is run by a friend of Xavi’s (CB friend).  Talk about small towns,  I had to take a bus 10 ks down the road just to buy batteries.  Also the weather took a turn on the cold side so I needed one more “layer”.  But now I think I am set — the next 10-12 days are some of the most remote of the trip — and I thought I was already remote!!  I have had to add back on some weight with more food for this section along with that jacket and pants.  Oh well…
I am more than 1/2 way  through – my GPS shows I’ve gone 273 miles!  It has been a really interesting adventure!  I have been pleasantly surprised at how well my body is holding up!  Just keep on “trucking”!
   I have met a lot of wonderful people, who are willing to practice their English with me – or put up with my mixture of bad Spanglish and Frenchlish. 🙂 But  I am usually sitting with about 30 other people all eating and talking and I have a silly grin on my face because I can’t understand any of it!!
    With the remoteness of everything and the current technology, I haven’t been able to find “computer cafes” anymore, so I am going to attempt to post this blog from my iPhone.  It probably means no photos, but maybe I can send out a bunch when I am “off the trail”.   I think I have spotted a bar that has wifi (I just have to wait till it reopens at 7 pm!).  Being in Spain, everything closes down from about 1 pm till 6 or 7. And don’t even hope to get dinner before about 8!  And even in the resorts, things are closed on Saturdays and Sundays!  Very different over here.
   The adventure continues…..


  1. You are doing great “My Girl” and half way thru – Yeeeh !!! Take good care and enjoy.

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