GR7 in Northern Catalunya – una dia preciosa.

IMG_20141020_115635_992Hostal del Pla – St Llorenc.

Have had problems with decent Wifi and WordPress on my phone, so I’m now catching up with the trip.

Was up early to enjoy the buffet breakfast before my taxi man arrived to take me back to the Hostal del. Pla. Naturally went in for a coffee, the place was  busy with blokes having breakfast. This consisted of bread and gruesome looking sausages.They try to pour as much red wine down their throats as possible at this time of day.

Hostal del Pla

Hostal del Pla

From the hostal the route went straight up the ridge on an old cattle road, this was on bare conglomerate rock which had the look of precast cobbles. I was to remain on this type of surface all day.A curious incident happened shortly after entering the woods. A pair of underpants and a sweater were lying on the path and within seconds two large dogs came rushing at me, fortunately their bark was worse than their bite and they retreated. I couldn’t help wondering about the fate of the clothes’ owner.

There have not been a lot of flowers evident at this time of year so I was particularly pleased to come across these gentians.Losing the way a little in the woods, who cares, I followed what were probably goat tracks until I was stood suddenly at an abrupt drop into a fantastic valley of conglomerate rock disappearing into unknown depths.
I found a way along the crest to drop down to the road again – time for lunch. Above me choughs were chee-owing but didn’t land for tit- bits. There were views back down the Solsona valley and its cliffs. Few cars passed on the road which I had to follow a kilometre to a turn off onto an old track that headed along the edge of the conglomerate valley. I was delayed for some time whilst watching a couple of vultures wheeling around the head of the valley – magic.
The track then found its way subtly down into a couple of side valleys, in evocative scented pine trees, surrounded by magnificent scenery. There were views into the St. Llorenc valley with mountains all around.
At one point I backtracked through a ?natural gap in the rocks heading into yet another valley. This was signed as the Lords Way! It lead me down to a lane which I followed into St. Llorenc. The temperature was 28C.

The outskirts of this mountain town made me feel I was in Switzerland with cowbells clanging and chalet styled houses.
The old town was thankfully typically Spanish with an imposing church, beautiful cloisters and all the usual alleyways to explore. Interestingly I came across a GR1 sign in town, this is another superb long walk in Northern Spain for which John Hayes is writing a Cicerone guidebook.
JpegSupper this evening in a local bar was mainly wild mushroom based yet again – pasta with fungi and then fungi fry-up, they couldn’t get them into the dessert.
Yet another great day’s walking in fantastic scenery and in the most perfect weather.

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