Hospital De Vielha-Estany deth Cap deth Port
Campsite Elevation: 7280ft/2219m
*No mileage available. The guidebook lists distances on the route by time rather than miles.
Paul and Chantal drove me the hour back to Hospital De Vielha for the second morning in a row. This time, the weather was much clearer, and with it being a Saturday, there were 25 cars in the parking lot. There are many hikes that leave from this trailhead. Just after 9am, I bid farewell to Paul and Chantal, who were amazing hosts. I will see them tomorrow when I reach the town of Salardu. Since it is Sunday, and the supermarket will close before I arrive, they are bringing me my resupply for a 7 day stretch. They will conveniently be out there to pick up Why Not and Jim, who will be arriving where I started off today. All make sense?Today was the perfect way to ease back into the trail. A relaxed day, with much less intensity than the previous week or so. It started off with a 2hr climb on the GR11 that wasn’t too steep up to the large lake, Estany de Rius.
After lunch was the descent down to the Estany de Mar and then some rocky grassy terrain that was a little slow going to the other end of the lake. When I got up from lunch and headed down, my stomach ache was gone, but I was really lethargic and dizzy. So bad that if I closed my eyes while standing up, I’d lose my balance. What the heck!? It felt hormonal with the full body impact, so I checked the calendar, but I’m in the clear on that for a bit longer. I tried to think of what it could be. Elevation? I wasn’t that high (7000ft/2100m). Lack of sleep? Still car sick? Actually sick? The only thing out of the ordinary for me was that two days ago at Paul and Chantal’s I hit my forehead really hard on a pole at their house that seems to be a common spot for that to happen. No bump or bruise, but my forehead is really sensitive to the touch still. Maybe it’s from that? I hit it really hard, and maybe I didn’t notice cause I hadn’t been active. Whatever it was, I was happy that I had a relaxed day planned for today and just a few more hours of hiking that wasn’t too difficult.
Once at the end of the lake, there were switchbacks down to the large Refugi de la Restanca, which sits on another dammed lake.When I got there, I was well ahead of schedule for the day and took a bit to sit down before my final climb. There is limited camping in this area, so I knew I had to stop at the next lake to legally camp even though it would be an early day for me. I was totally welcoming the earlier camp time!
Once up to the Estany deth Cap deth Port, I found a nice hidden spot that had been labeled on the track I have from 2010 HRPers, Amy and Jim. It’s a perfect spot! Just on the other side of a rock wall totally out of sight of all the day hikers since this is a very popular destination and it’s a Saturday.
Also, it is well protected from the wind as it’s quite breezy with gusts from time to time today. I’m not sure, but there may be a slight chance of overnight rain, so I setup for that just in case. It was 4pm when I arrived. I immediately put the tent up and laid down inside without even getting my sleeping pad or bag out. It was super comfy on the grass, or I was too tired to care. I took a 15min nap before I was motivated to do the rest. I had my pajamas on before 5pm. It felt awesome to be laying down! It was chilly with the wind, but the tent was warmed perfectly by the sun, and I was oh so comfy in my sleeping bag.
I did my blogging before dinner and took a 30min nap until I finally got hungry. I had everything done by 8:30pm, watched some shows, and am going to try to sleep early. Hopefully, I’ll be refreshed tomorrow.