Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bolea - Embalse de Arguis

GR1 Sendero Historico day 27.
Distance: 21.6km (784.5km), time spent: 6:32.
Waymarking: Good (El Camino).
Weather: Overcast and gloomy, a little better later on.

Today it was back up in the mountains again, on a route that crosses an open moorland with the summits of Pico Gratal, Gratal, Naviella and Punta Peiro around it. Gr1 and El Camino Natural de la Comarca de Hoya de Huesca follow each other as twins until they brutally separates and go on different ways to Arguis. The hostel in the village is recommended, but no available rooms makes me walk towards an uncertain place to sleep.

Bolea, situated between its twoo hills, La Colegiata de Bolea also visible.

It is not cheerful outside. It is far from sunny, as some of the house guests at Casa Ruffino yesterday pointedly declared it would be, but it did not rain at least. Only dramatic and gloomy clouds that forces themselves over the mountains I will cross over.

Ermita de la Trinidad, the chapel to the right, the hospederia to the left.

When the ascent into the mountains begins, I pass a small and lovely chapel, Ermita de la Trinidad. The house that before was the old hospederia of the chapel, that is where wayfarers, pilgrims and guest of the chapel could stay the night, is now just an empty shell. Vegetation grows out of the windows, the entrance is barricaded. The place would have been a nice place to camp at, with benches to sit on next to a more modern building, or you can see if you survive a haunted night in the hospederia.

Gloomy weather across the Hoya de Huesca creates a dramatic view.

The weather may not make the visibility from the ascent any better, but it makes a view that I have already seen more dramatic. Hoya de Huesca says farewell underneath a pale sky. I wonder how many others I will meet up here now. The answer is probably giving itself. The closest I get, is a snake that slithers across the path. The path, how well that feels, a minor objection against the GR1 is that it is too seldom that the trails goes on a path.

Pozo de nieve up into the mountain, these were used to create ice.

At the top of the pass, there is an old place to make ice, a pozo de nieve, a large hole and a smaller one, both with internal walls of stones stabled on top of each other. I take a break at the picnic-table there. Across the heath, clouds are drifting. Up here, there is open ground and a green moorland. Of unexplainable reason, the GR1 here goes down from the mountain again to the village of Bentue de Rasal, from where it follows a road the rest of the way to Arguis. Sometimes it seems like that GR1 is somewhat afraid of staying higher up, as soon as it has climbed up, it searches for ways down again. That said, the trail is supposedly following old ways and they tend to stick to safer grounds.

On the way up into a open moorland underneath heavy clouds.

El Camino however, continues further up into the desolate moorland covered by the clouds, it is not a difficult choice this time to follow that route. Sparse vegetation, around a landscape of undulating miniature hills. This is the coolest part of the walk today. Above, the trail goes in a loop around a valley, a bench and another table has views towards Pico Gratal, whose summit is hidden in the layer of clouds. Around the bench and table, the grass grows high. Below, a valley meanders with some few gravel tracks leading up into the mountains. The cheese and ham baguette is quickly eaten while the clouds reveals more and more of the mountain.

Pico Gratal.

Up at Collado de Sarramiana, El Camino is also satisfied with the gained altitude. Now, the clouds are on the run and blue sky is visible. I can barely see the Pyrenees far back in the view. Then trees takes over, when the path descends, steeply and somewhat hurtful. There are railings alongside the path. I opt out of going to the summit of Punta Peiro. The valley below appears through the trees. I scare some wild boars, who again scares up the bushes around them. The last five kilometres through Sierra de Gratal to Arguis are unfortunately less exciting, even though parts of them goes through something that reminds of a lunar landscape. On a sign warning about motorized vehicles, someone has quite strikingly scribbled down ‘Terrorismo ambiental’.

Collado de Sarramiana, Punta Peiro at the center of the picture, with a clearer view you could see the Pyrenees from here.

Hostal Migalón is no longer Hostal Migalón, now the place is named Hostal Barbacana and luckily for me, a room has suddenly became available. It is very pleasant place, although the room that I have is slightly dirty. The other guests are apparently workers on the road that comes up from Huesca and disappears into a tunnel further up. The employees at the hostel are friendly and easy to get in touch with.

Down through the woods to Sierra de Gratal, with railings next to the path.

The lunar landscape around Embalse de Arguis gives the water a grey and lifeless, but not charmless characterization. Like at Embalse de Ebro there are warning signs about ‘Atención navegantes’ at the lake, on the sign there is a picture of something looks much like a very angry parasite (reminds something of a tick), but are supposed to be mussels.

Wandering in a lunar landscape through Sierra de Gratal to Arguis.

White beans with meat, meat stew, rice cream and much wine for dinner. Good. I note down a smiley for today’s stage in the notebook I carry with me. Each day I try to write down feelings and experiences that I have during the walk, and those that I am unable to catch with my camera. In unsteady writing, I revisit todays walk over the mountain and heath. I hope that I later will be able to read my own handwriting about it has been a great day, but I pretty sure, that I will remember it anyway.

Embalse de Arguis.

<- Ermita de San CristóbalNocito ->

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