Friday, October 12, 2007

Sunday 7th Arinsal to Ordino 10 kms

After a good brekkie (Andorran breakfasts are the real deal) we put the giant packs on backs and walked up the road to find the GR11 track. Andorran hills are SteeP and whoever made todays track didnt bother with zigzaging it up, it just pointed straight up through the pine forest. The achilles tendons and hamstrings on the backs of your legs get a real workout. Climbing takes time. Even though it was only 2 kms in distance to the top, the 500 meter height gain took nearly 2 hours. From the top it was a steep drop down of the same distance and height into the next valley. At the bottom was the village of Arans. We didnt stop though, our objective was Ordino, further down the valley. By road only 3 kms but the GR11 takes you up over the hills in a 6 km detour. CJ and self took the road trip but CB was feeling like extra exercise (that boy has got energy to burn) and took to the hills. We headed off down the road. Andorra is small but very mountainous. In fact there are no flat bits. With a population of 80,000 (20,000 andorrans and 60,000 immigrants) and several million visitors every year, most of the valleys are built up with apartments and roads. The hills are filled with ski resorts. So walking through this part of the Pyrenees was quite different. We had decided to make our walks shorter and traverse Andorra in 4 days instead of 3. Our bodies were showing signs of the constant pounding and we had to ease up a little. On arrival at Ordino we sat outside a bar in the town square to await Mr. B. I took off to find a good cheap hotel and a place to have lunch. Of all the towns we saw in Andorra, Ordino was the only one worth visiting.