Saturday, September 8, 2007

Santuario de Idoya

Mountains, mountains everywhere.

Friday 7th Sept

We stayed at a hotel in Ochagavia. 3 to a room and shared bathroom with the other rooms. But a good dinner with excellent navarra rose wine. Friday was a 24 km plod thru boring pine trees but after 5 hours we arrived at a high point with our 1st real look at the really big mountains that we were soon to face. A bit scary I have to admit. Then once again a steep drop off thru dense beech before arriving at a small 13th century church, the Santuario de Idoya. A narrow rocky path led us to Isaba, an ancient high mountain village with cobbled lanes and more importantly a bar. We downed 4 beers each in 10 minutes. We decided to stay 2 nights here and hav a rest day. The body needed some r + r. Sunday will be the toughest day so far and Im not looking forward to it. A climb up to 2050 mtrs with a 20 kilo pack will be no picnic.

Thursday 6 Sept

These blog entries hav 2 be short as i am tapping them out on a mobile. It would b nice 2 put in a bit more of the daily events but my thumb gets 2 tired. Wednesday and Thursdy were 2 big days. We walked over 50 kms over rugged terrain. Water has become an issue as we move away from the moist Atlantic zone and we hav 2 carry all of our daily needs. Weds night we hav 2 make an unplanned camp at 1100 mtrs just below the treeline as we run out of daylight. Next day we follow the track downhill thru beech forest to the Irabia lake and on to Irati then a hard climb up to the top of Abodi 1469 mtrs. From there a steep drop to Ochagavia villa. The drops r worse than the climbs. Harder on the feet and knees and they are always at the end of the day when u r most tired.