domingo, 30 de septiembre de 2018

TRANSPIRENAICA GR11 ETAPA 22: ENCAMP - CABANA DELS ESPARVERS

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Bajamos a desayunar sin muchas ilusiones. Qué equivocados estábamos. El desayuno del Hotel Andino fue un buffet gigante con huevos fritos, bacon, salchichas, pastas, dulces, frutas… nos pusimos morados. Un desayuno legendario.



La salida de Encamp fue algo enrevesada ya que el GR11 va por la carretera y se hace un poco pesado. Pero una vez en el bosque vamos ya tranquilamente hacia el Llac d’Engolasters.



El desnivel positivo de la etapa es grande (+1400 m) pero la subida es muy gradual por lo que el recorrido es agradable y cómodo. Además es bonito.



Más o menos cada hora u hora y media nos encontrábamos con lo famosos refugios libres de Andorra. Menudo país. Refugios libres (esto significa que son gratis, sin nadie que los guarde) con literas metálicas (sin colchón, obviamente), algunos con botiquín, limpios… impresionante.




Seguimos la senda tranquilamente durante 16 km hasta llegar al Refugio de l’Illa. Esto ya es la élite de los refugios de montaña. Una mole de metal con capacidad para 52 personas en la zona guardada y unas cuantas más en la libre (en Andorra, por ley, todos los refugios deben tener una parte libre) donde además tienen incluso gallinas. Sólo les faltaba una plantación de tabaco y un duty free.



Paramos en el refugio a rellenar las bolsas de agua y a preguntar por el estado de la Cabana dels Esparvers que es donde teníamos planeado pasar la noche. Nos comentaron que estaba en buen estado pero que era pequeña. Afortunadamente ni Marina ni yo somos Roberto Dueñas así que no nos preocupamos mucho.




Ascendimos el Coll de Vallcivera (2544 m), saliendo de Andorra y volviendo a Catalunya. El camino ahora sí desciende de forma bastante brusca hacia el Pla de Vallcivera para llegar más tarde hasta la cabecera del Vall de la Llosa.



Ahí se encuentra la Cabana dels Esparvers (2070 m), entre el curso de dos riachuelos, en una zona llana de rocas grandes con césped y flores.



Nos bañamos en el río y lavamos la ropa, que pudimos secar al sol en las piedras que estaban bastante calientes debido al buen día que hacía.



Cenamos y nos fuimos a dormir no sin antes tener que salir del saco a asegurar la comida debido a la presencia de un ratoncito goloso que se intentó comer nuestro pan.



RESUMEN DE LA ETAPA:

Fecha: 28 de julio de 2018
Hora y altitud de partida: 09:15 a 1280 m
Hora y altitud de llegada: 18:00 a 2070 m
Distancia:  21km
Desnivel acumulado: +1400 / -700
Tipo de vía: Sendero
Meteorología: Soleado 
Alojamiento: Cabaña de pastores dels Esparvers


Enrique & Marina
English version

PYRENEES TRAIL GR11 STAGE 22: ENCAMP - ESPARVERS SHEPHERDS HUT



We went for breakfast at the hotel not expecting much, it was included. But we found a massive spread of food of all kinds and hardly anyone in the dinning room. There was a section of hot food, fruit, baking goods, cereals, toasts and of course coffee, tea, juice and so on. We ate as if there was not tomorrow. 



Leaving Encamp was confusing because we had to cross the city and find the trail that starts across the main road. But once we found it, the scenery changes dramatically and we didn’t see much civilisation up to Engolasters Lake where there’s a couple of food outlets. 



This stage climbs 1400 m but does it gradually over the 21 km of its length and therefore it can be covered with light effort. Besides, the landscape is really pretty and the path is easy to cross. 



Every hour or half an hour there’s an open hut. There’s a wide network of free open huts in Andorra and they’re well known for being clean, well maintained and tidy. Some have metallic bunks to increase its capacity, some have a full fist aid cabinet, all have fire places and wood, etc. 




The trail took us to Illa guarded hut which could probably join the Relais and Chateaux of the mountain Huts if there was such thing. It’s a very large metal warehouse that accommodates up to 52 people in the guarded section while there’s a small part of the hut that is open at no cost for those who chose to stay in the free section. As opposed to Spain, guarded huts in Andorra should include a part in which they can’t take bookings or charge so there’s always space to host mountaineers in need of a shelter. Besides the rooms, they had a terrace and a few chicken pens. Their set up is incredible. 



We stopped to fill up our water bladders and visited the guards to ask about the state of Esparvers, the cabin where we would like to spend the nigh. The guard, who was very friendly, told me that it was very small but, although it would be enough for two, we may want to still set up the tent outside where the ground would be flat and soft too.




We climbed up to Vallcivera saddle (2544 m) and, just like that, we left Andorra and entered Catalonia again. The trail now descended quite fast to Vallcivera Flats and took us to the head of the Valley of the Llosa. 



On the crossing of two streams there’s a flat grassy area with flowers and a few large rocks. It’s there by the boulders were the cabin of Esparvers was built (2070 m). 



We prepared the cabin, which was pretty clean (someone left a garbage bag inside) but needed a sweep (someone left a pine branch for that purpose, probably not the same person who left the rubbish). We found the space large enough for three people definitively larger than Fuenblanca cabin. We had our regular bath in the river, did the washing and left the clothes flat on the warm rocks after such a nice day. 



We had dinner looking at the beautiful landscape and then went to bed. We had, though, to protect our food from the little mouse that tried to eat our bread during the night



STAGE OVERVIEW:

Date: 28th of July 2018
Start time and altitude: 9:15 at 1280 m
Finish time and altitude: 18:00 at 2070 m
Distance:  21 km
Cumulative elevation gain/loss: +1400 / -700
Type of track: trail
Weather on the day: sunny
Accommodation: Esparvers Shepherds cabin

Enrique & Marina

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