VIDEO: “She crossed the Pyrenees” Trek GR11
Lets hike the Pyrenees …
Walking and hiking get more popular, nowadays. When I forget Camino de Santiago or short two-weeks trip, how did you get the idea across the Pyrenees?
I thought I wanted to try something special. So I checked a book ‘The Best European Treks’. Most of those treks last no longer than two weeks and that is really short time. So I told myself, I am after school, I have time, so why not to try something longer. I love mountains. Why not like the Pyrenees? The decision was between GR10 (Franch side) and GR11 (Spain side). GR11, that is my challenge! Hiking and mountain are for me more then urbex. And whats more, GR11 is better (Spanish said). Most of the people have no time to hike these long trails. Start and Finish are set. From ocean to the Mediterranean sea.
Seems to be a long journey. What is the distance? Did you walk alone? And how long did it take?
I did it only with my boyfriend. To hike in a group is for me impossible (laugh). Trek is 820km long and according to guidebook is possible to hike it in 45 days. My plan was two months (60 days) including 15 days of a backup time for my hike. And of course some sight seeing days of Barcelona. The whole journey took us 47 days. Actually 46 days, one day was a sick day. In an average, it was 20km per day and 1000 altitude meters, and that is really not a piece of cake. I never did something like that before this trip. Our plan was to have some free days for regeneration and chill out but in the end, we hiked every day. It is weird I know, but we weren’t able to do relax days. Simply, we wanted to continue hiking to our aim.
Tell me something about the budget, accommodation and food…
It was really cheap. Air ticket was about 270€. Rest of costs were about 390€. Most of all this amount made food. I am modest and I don’t mind to eat the same food twice a day, so I can save a money. The food costs could be higher, but we were supported by Expres Menu with 25kg of a meal (about 45 portions like a paprika chicken, and other Czech sauce meals …). That helped us really a lot. Tasty food heated on the cooker. During a trip, we used a Life Straw bottles to have a clean water. And accommodation? We slept in a wild nature, except Barcelona. It was a little bit of hygiene challenge. Mountain rivers are f*cking cold, cold to start feeling the pain. Therefore sometimes happened decision to ‘take a shower’ tomorrow, and tomorrow again (smile). I called it piggy camping.
Am I right, you started your journey with 25kg of victuals?
That would be impossible to do. We divided Expres Menu food into four packages. One we took into the backpack and rest three we sent to defined spots on the way. There we recharge the victuals. The backpack was about 18kg full and 14kg after food ran out (3.5kg was my photo technique, and I can honestly say, I am a modest photographer).
Back to the food topic. You have mentioned gas cooker. It is impossible to take gas tank onboard. So did you where to buy the gas tank?
I suspected. When I am preparing on a longer trip, I always google ‘outdoor shop + city name’. Then I always check it through google street view. Generally, it is possible to buy it in camps. In one guide I read that frequently used is Easy Click and poorly used is Camping Gas. It was exactly the opposite. Easy Click rarely. It was fun. I took 3.5kg of photo technique and no backup cooker. My backup was an igniter in a tin :-D.
THE MOST important whiles …
The worst while?
The air tickets are really strong motivation to reach the destination. The hardest crisis was on the second day, on a first higher hill. Hot like in a hell, a warm wind was blowing. My physical shape after months of studies was really poor. And me hiking uphill, with the knowledge that it wouldn’t be better in next days. Then in the evening, in the guide is written that it was the easiest part of a trail. That gives me the creeps. However this feeling I admitted later after the trip.
The best while?
The best while came when I saw the first time the Mediterranean sea, although it was 80km far. So close but so far. It was stunning, even when I knew that there are three more days of a hike.
The most unexpected surprise?
I expect something special when I reach the end of a trail. Some feelings like a “Yes! I am here, … win! I did It…” and it was different. The end of the trail had been marked with a red point in a white circle (trail is marked with two strips red and white) and this symbol of the end I didn’t find. Maybe there is no marker! Next surprise was about feelings. The winner mood I got later. I can say, NOW I am very happy when we are talking about a trip.
Where to buy gas cartridges
- Sallent de Gállego – sport shop (Camping Gas only)
- Torla – sport shop
- Encamp – shop Téchnic Esports (všechny typy plynů)
- La Jonquera – household goods
Summer is here. What are your plans? Another trip? Is it secret or I can ask?
I am heading to cross Alps from Geneva to Nice. It is ’35 days only’. But thanks God, for this holiday. My current life style allows me to spent me free time as I ve decided. What’s more, I am so happy that I am supported by Hannah with the ultra-light tent. Fewer kilograms on a back, more fun on a trail 😉.