I changed “The 100 Miles of Nowhere” up a little bit and aimed at 100K to somewhere. Specifically, I aimed to walk, here in Spain, from Olot to the sea, to St Feliu de Guixols. I was doing it with my dog Chuck too, cause he loves to walk, and it’s a whole lot more fun to walk with him.
Then I looked at the train schedules and bus schedules and planned a secondary possible ending wherein we would hit the sea at Tossa de Mar and head further down the coast to Blanes where we could pick up the train. This would increase the walk to 130K or so.
You’re going to need a map to get an idea of what the heck I’m talking about! Thank goodness for google maps! I did this route on the Vies Verdes, which is an excellent bicycling route if you’re thinking of a vacation in Catalonia one day!
Chuck and I trained for this in the hills and trails around where we live and on the big day, we set off……
Chuck immediately found the only cow pat in the area to roll in, so a good time was had by all.
Indeed, we passed the start of a local bike race, excuse the blurry image, they shot off the warning gun just as I pushed the button, and then Chuck thought it would be best to get out of the way. Chuck on leash when they’re shooting off guns is something of an irresistable force, and I am not an immovable object.
In many ways, the bulk of the trip was rather similar, we walked and walked and continued walking along through almost exclusively rural scenery. The big advantage of this route is that it only occasionally goes near the road.
Further along we saw this in the path, which told what I found to be a funny story:
The trail took us on and on and on under bridges and through tunnels:
Below, you can see Chuck using his patented technique for cooling off, lying down in the puddle or ditch while drinking out of it at the same time. I actually did this walk nearly a month ago now to avoid the worst of the heat and we had a splendid forecast for it, being overcast the entire day. Chuck in the puddle, however, was not a good sign, though I didn’t recognize it at the time.
On we walked….
In one of the villages we passed they were celebrating a local festival and so had brought out the gegants, which most villages have a much beloved set of and who come out to dance to music played by the local group.
We trundled onwards. It started to rain, which was actually good as the day had warmed up some. However, it wasn’t enough. By about kilometer 48 Chuck requested that we take a break. As there was nowhere nearby for us to sit, we simply sat down in the wet dirt and hung out for a while. I called my husband to tell him what was going on, and we agreed that Chuck was probably simply too hot.
After about 20 minutes, we got up and walked on, but by the time I made it to the 50K mark, of the day’s planned 70, Chuck was trailing behind me on leash and I was pretty much towing him. We called it a day, grabbed a taxi to the hotel we were planning on staying in that night and I was glad we did because once we got in the cab it started to POUR! Tropical pour, and it did so for the next 5 hours. We would have been fairly miserable.
I also knew it was a good decision because as we were waiting for the cab outside a kind baker’s shop, Chuck fell solidly asleep. Most unlike him.
No problem, I thought, we’ll do 50 tomorrow to, going all the way to Blanes and it’ll be great.
So, the next morning we set off with the dawn Chuck once again filled with eagerness for the day ahead.
and a beautiful day it was:
Eventually we passed the town of Llagostera a medieval hill town, now somewhat expanded,
and got off the vies verdes onto something more adventurous.
Indeed we climbed up this ‘mountain’ Puig de les Cadires at 519m or about 1700 ft. The view was lovely and we were having a fabulous day, though you will notice how sunny it is. This is foreshadowing.
From there we could also see Tossa on the Med, our next immediate goal.
We also passed countless cork trees that had been harvested, for now, till they grow some more and they do it again. I’ve seen trees that have been harvested many many times over the years.
We were having fun, at times having to run down hill as the descent was so steep it was easier than walking. We had to hunt around to find the roads we wanted to work our way down and scramble through the brush sometimes.
There was also a sanctuary that we went by,
and then Chuck wanted to lay down in the shade for a bit. It is hot here, and it was a pretty warm day. What Chuck does, and I imagine many dogs do, is dig down through the sand till they reach cooler earth, then he lies down in the coolness soaking it up through his relatively hairless belly. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Then he went to sleep.
for 40 minutes.
At which point I decided that we would make it to Tossa and catch a taxi to Blanes and onwards home.
Here’s Chuck on his first ever train ride:
We managed about 25K that day, which still left me quite short of the 100K I was aiming at, so later that week, when I was getting my hair cut, my hairdresser mentioned that he and a fellow hairdresser were going to be going up a mountain on Wednesday morning, I asked if I could go to.
They said yes! So we went up Puig Mal in the Vall de Núria in the Pyrenees.
GPS track of that walk. We left at 5:30 am and went up like a train. Puig Mal is at 2910m or 9550 feet. We got up it in and hour and a half, and down a little later. Chuck didn’t come for this trip, though my hairdresser brought his dog.
Here’s the view from a bit of the way up, and below the peak.
We had nice views on the rather more scenic route down
We even saw this horse and her baby on the way out
You will notice that this route was only 14.6 kilometers, still bringing me up short of the full 100K, but as this was done at altitude and involved 1440 m or 4725 feet of elevation ascent and descent, I’m counting it done.
It was great fun I have to say. We also registered with Camp Kelsem as an independent fundraising team and raised nearly $600! So a great success all around. Now we’re just waiting for Chuck to shed, so we can embark on some more adventures together.