|WHY WE HIKED!|
|Today's starting point for the hike: Our Hotel!|
Today, we padded right out the door and followed streams, rivers and lakes all day long along a route known as Inclaste'. As we trod along our way on the side of the river, the guide told us that France was just over the peak on the other side. Our pathway was named something like Shadyside in English.
|Our first watery companion.|
|Mr Parris enjoying his easy path....for a short time.|
|The name of this one is "that yellow one."|
|This sign should have also read, "All who intend to hike to this lake prepare to get your butt kicked."|
|Wonderful distraction from achy muscles.|
|Across a meadow. Have no fear. More climbing lies ahead! France lies beyond the background mountains.|
|Fields of clover.|
|We rounded a bend, and there she was. Our lunch spot, Lake Siscaro.|
|More swimming for those not faint of heart. I waded in to the knee and estimate the temp was about 40F.|
|Our lovely companion, Ruth, who seems to be taking care of many people in England!|
|This sort of blue is reminiscent of New Mexico.|
|Paul stopped for a while to admire this view.|
|Sky, forest, mountains, trees. What more can we hope for? So lucky to be here!|
|Our fearless and fit leader, Bert.|
|Reward for hiking a long way! I think I enjoyed sitting down as much as I did the beer!|
We decided that we should pursue some relaxation so we went back to the Sport Hotel for spa and dinner at their Origens restaurant:
|Why stop with water at the end of the hike?This spa has great hydrotherapy, sauna, steam and calderas.|
|Our view out of the restaurant, sans snow. The Origens restaurant is where the lighted windows are.|
I'd be happy to rave on and on about the food at Origens, but I have a funny feeling my hubby, Senor Gourmand, will do a really nice job of that in his ponderings.
Overall, a wonderful day spent mostly in nature. Does it get any better than that?
"...by bringing myself over the edge and back, I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the periodically barren plain of our short lives."
-- Jonathan Waterman
Paul's Ponderings: Today was the toughest climb up we had this week. Several lengthy stretches were on rocky paths that required a lot of "high stepping" to move up, which increases the strain on the body. But, we had lunch by a wonderful lake and a longer gradual descent to Soldeu. We then went back to the Sport Hotel spa, which solved many problems related to the stress of climbing up! After that, it was a nice dinner at a restaurant at the same hotel, run by Charles Gaig (pronounced "Gahj") who is here June-August and runs a Michelin starred place in Barcelona. The food and wine were great, including scallops, lamb, and beef as courses. The service was a bit uneven, but it worked out OK. And the price was about what you'd pay for a good meal in the US. The wines here are astoundingly cheap is a primary reason, versus buying a similar bottle in the US for 2x the price or more (if you are talking about a wine from this region). Friday is a free day, with a trip planned into the capital and some mundane things like laundry. We've been incredibly lucky on weather....no rain, bright sunny days, cool nights. A great week overall!
PS: The title is a sort of homage to Townes Van Zandt....in a weird way simply because it popped into my head.