For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Crossing The Border

The next morning Steven rose at the crack of dawn and was eager to get moving. He left in the pouring rain at 8 o'clock - and I never saw him again! I, however, was relishing the unusually comfortable mattress in the gîte - and wanted to rest my feet a little longer too, as they'd been giving me hell the previous afternoon. It wasn't till 10 am that I hit the trail. But at least the rain had stopped by then - and it remained fine for the rest of the day.

There was a choice of ways to the Col du Somport and the border with Spain - one on woodland paths and one via the road. I took the easy option - along the road - and was very glad I did, for the views were much less restricted on this route. I was also pleased that the traffic was fairly light. After 16 km of ascent (except for the last 6 km most of it fairly gradual it must be said) I reached the col - at 1632 m the highest point of the whole journey.

Somport is a small ski resort, but it was too early for serious snow (in fact the weather was very mild indeed) and the place was utterly deserted. I crossed the frontier at 3 pm. I didn't stop but immediately made my way down a steep and stony path on the other side. I was in Spain! The scenery changed quite dramatically. It was wilder and more arid. There were more conifers and spiky, sun-loving plants.

I was following the valley of the Rio Aragón and would continue to shadow this river for nearly a week ...









That day I'd walked 27 km and had enjoyed every minute of it. I spent the night at Canfranc-Estación. I had no choice but to stay in some rip-off holiday accommodation as the pilgrim albergue was shut. The next day I headed down river once again - towards Jaca, 24 km distant. Castellio de Jaca was one of the prettiest villages I passed through ...





These cute chimney stacks which I photographed in Castiello are typical of the Aragón region ...



I remained close to the Aragón river at all times, and the river bed gradually widened as I walked further south ...

3 comments:

Singing Bear said...

These photographs are lovely. I can feel your aching feet.

The Weaver of Grass said...

There is a certain sort of light in all your photographs Robert - I love it.

The Solitary Walker said...

There is a crack in everything/That's how the light get in...