Last week Hike Pyrenees welcomed it’s first guests for the season and our first from the US. Our walk on the first day took us through the medieval villages of the Serrablo.
These ancient villages have some of the finest examples of Romanesque churches anywhere in Europe and date back to the 11th century. Our walk took us through woodland with a couple of huge ancient oak trees to the village of Susin with just one remaining inhabitant. She came out and had a chat with us and showed us inside the church the 11th century church. Later on we had some excellent views of a pair of egyptian vultures that took off from a nearby field.
San Juan de la Pena was our destination the following day. Our walk took us along a ridge with fantastic views of the snow covered high Pyrenees to the north and over to the cliffs of Los Mallos to the south. A huge colony of griffon vultures roost in the cliffs below us and we watched them fly close overhead. It was a good day for flowers with fields of tiny narcissus covering the higher meadows and we found a couple of white alpine narcissus. Hepatica and primroses were in flower along with the first early purple orchids that I’ve seen this year. Pine processionary caterpillars lined the road at the start of the walk. These strange creatures build web like nests in the pine trees and when they go anywhere do so in a huge long line walking literally head to tail. They make a strange sight and the trains can be really long. If you ever see these don’t touch them as they have long barbed hairs which get caught in your skin causing swelling and irritation and can be fairly serious. After the walk we visited the superb monastery complex. The old monastery is fascinating and dates back to 920 and is built under an overhanging cliff. Read more about San Juan de la Pena here.
Our final day took us to the Ordesa Valley. We had a beautiful day and the air was crystal clear. The valley looked wonderful and was still covered in quite a lot of snow. Great views of the cliffs all day and Monte Perdido stood proudly at the head of the valley. The waterfalls were in good flow and very impressive. Not too many flowers out in the valley yet but the insect eating butterworts were just starting to show themselves.
I hope you guys and girls had a great time in the Pyrenees and enjoyed your hiking. We’d love to see you back in Spain again - next time for a stay in Refugio Goriz and an attempt on Monte Perdido!