Monday, September 19, 2016

Návagos - Bóveda

GR1 Sendero Historico day 11.
Distance: 34.5km (327.7km), time spent: 09:23.
Waymarking: Ok, but a part of the route are very bad marjed.
Weather: Fine in the morning, then overcast.

This was not the first day on the walk where I got problems finding the way due to the waymarking, but this was the first where I felt that the experience suffered due to it. Last time, the weather also played a part of it; it did not do it now. When I arrived at Bóveda, I was for the most part tired and quite irritated. Add to that, it really had not been a very exciting day, but there was one amazing highlight during the walk.

The medieval defence tower in Návagos.

There was no reason to be irritated in the morning, I was served breakfast by Raquel and Maria. Outside, it was sunny and a blue sky. It was a great start of the day, even though I have had yet another night with bad sleep. As expected, the tent was all wet from rain dew. Raquel and Maria had accompanied me on my way in the beginning, up to the old tower, then they had said goodbye. They had been formidable hosts. The guards were replaced by ghosts, the tower was now used as a graveyard.

Inside the tower in Návagos, which now are used as a graveyard.

The absolute highlight of the day was San Pantaleón de Losa. A small chapel from the 12th century set in a stunning location. Out on the tip of and on the top of a limestone outcrop, seen from below the outcrop looked like a huge ship. Made by erosion. One of the legends of the Holy Grail is that it is supposed to rest here. When I came out of the woods after Pérex de Losa, I could see the chapel above me on the top of the outcrop, with the bell tower askew.

Alto de la Frontera. View from the small hill that I had planned to walk to yesterday, there campsites available here. Below, the clouds lay drifting across the valley.

To get up to it, I had to walk in a circle around the cliff, gradually upwards, past a leash of nagging dogs. The top of the crag assumed an altogether different shape; from here it seemed as if I walked on an empty, sweeping and rolling plain. With the church standing out in the middle of the desolate plain. It was enchanting. From the top of the cliff, steep down, I could gaze out across the surrounding area and in the direction of Puerto de la Horca where the trail passes by later. I stayed at the chapel for a good while, dried the tent in the wind and ate lunch.

Through the woods on the way to Pérex de Losa. There was a quiet and desolate atmosphere laying across the woods, when I walked it felt somewhat boring, but the walk left an imprint in my mind. The route was not only following gravel roads as here, but also on smaller paths.

After San Pantaleón de Losa, I quickly came down to earth again. The only comfort was the great view of the ship behind me with the chapel as a steering house. Even the guidebook warning about it, that the waymarking would be confusing and that a small part of the route probably had got lost in time. I spent additional time and had an additional walk to find the correct route up towards Puerto de la Horca (horca means gallows). The waymarking was not much better after I relocated it again.

View from Peña Colorada o del Santo. GR1 follows the gravel track down to the left at first, before it completely looses track of itself between the fields. In the background, Puerto de la Horca, which the trail passes over.

The trail followed a local route, marked with yellow and white stripes (as for the PR-S 78 earlier), but here they were cheap with the red paint. When I had walked for a while, I found myself up at a pass, clearly on the wrong way, and tiredly had to set course downwards again. I was not happy. The GR1 had split course with the local route at a large water trough, but there were no marks indicating that. I had assumed that the trail was still following the yellow and white stripes. A good way up from the water trough did I again find the correct waymarks.

San Panteleón de Losa. The chapel looks like it is situated in the middle of a rolling plain. It is set in a stunning location.

The rest of the day, both before and after, did not contain that much excitement. I had walked up to Alto de la Frontera, driven by a curiosity to find out whether it was possible to camp there or not. That was confirmed, but it also added some additional few unnecessary kilometres to the day, the top of the hill lay a little bit away from the path. In the valley below, the clouds was slowly drifting around. Paresotas was quiet.

Below the church, there was a large Rubik's cube, but however much I tried to turn the sides of it, I could not do it. It remained unsolved.

From Paresotas to Pérex de Losa, the trail followed a forest path that offered a brittle desolate solitude. It felt somewhat boring when I walked through it, but later it gained in reputation. Also quiet in Pérex, but usually it seemed quiet in most of the villages that I had passed through. Leaving Pérex, it was also quite pleasant, but something was missing. You should not look away from the fact that I probably missed the clear blue sky from the first days on my walk when I walked. Now it was not a directly bad weather, but it was overcast.

Peña Colorada o del Santo. A ship with San Pantaleón de Losa as a steering house on the top. You arrive at the outcrop on a path to the right, then you have to go around and past the small hamlet Barrio de Arriba to get up to the chapel.

At Puerto de la Horca, I crossed into the Basque country, the path down was nice at the start, then it became more dull. And long. I was fatigued. The last part felt like a detour, but I arrived directly at Bóveda. Here everything was closed, but I had got a room in a Casa Rural, Herranetxe. It was nice.

On the way down from the wrong pass, instead of being at Puerto de la Horca, I found myself on a wrong course.

I had to make dinner myself, but the hostess had given me some eggs and salad that I could supplement to my soup with pasta. I had arrived tired and fatigued, and fed up, I could feel the last ten days on my body and the additional kilometres that I had walked today did not make it any better. Seeing more of the village than what I saw when I arrived, I had no wish for, too tired. The hostess had also given me some beers, so after dinner, I could sit down and relax in the living room with those and some coffee. I had no need for more. My legs was aching a little.

In Bóveda, where I relaxed in Casa Rural Herranetxe after having eaten dinner. Tired after a long day, where even the sock had begun to feel the toll.

It was not difficult to understand why the trail had been laid this way. I could still see San Pantaleón de Losa at the top of the cliff in my mind. Where the journey goes tomorrow I could not tell, but I hoped that the weather would be better. You do become lighter at mind with a blue sky and a sun that shines.

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