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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSat Jul 03, 2021 1:17 pm 
How we take a Warm Shower in the Wilderness while Hiking? - Sharing our Unique Shower System Watch the full video here:
In this video we want to share with you how we manage to keep ourselves clean and take a shower while hiking in the wilderness. This may be a completely new thing in a camping and hiking world because the way we are doing it is quite unique. Hope it will be a useful video for some of the folks that are doing long distance hiking and still want to have the luxury of a warm shower at hand. Disclaimer: we don't have any affiliation with the brands and all items mentioned in the video were purchased by our own money. What are your hygiene and shower secrets on the hiking trail?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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Tom
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Joined: 15 Dec 2001
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Tom
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PostSat Jul 03, 2021 2:03 pm 
Hi, I've consolidated all of your posts into a single topic those that wish to follow your adventures. Please limit future updates to this topic unless materially pacific northwest hiking related.

fourteen410, awilsondc, Songs2, Fletcher
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mosey
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Joined: 18 Dec 2018
Posts: 123 | TRs | Pics
mosey
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PostTue Jul 06, 2021 1:45 pm 
InFlight wrote:
Cyclopath wrote:
I wouldn't go AliExpress for something with the potential to explode. eek.gif

There''s the classic MRS PocketRocket, and the Snowpeak GigaPower canister stoves that will provide years of trouble free operation. Or you can try your luck on the on various cheap knockoffs. I'm sure a video about which cheap knockoff is less worse is of interest to someone.

My car got broken into and stole my discontinued MSR SuperFly, so I was searching for something that can handle cooking in a pot and got the Gigapower based on your recommendation. It's been on a few trips and up.gif up.gif thanks for the recommendation

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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSat Jul 10, 2021 1:32 pm 
The Heat Wave is Real and Extremely Long Day on GR11 Trail in Andorra | Day 4 – Engolasters, Encamp, Coll d’Ordino On our day 4 of GR11 we hiked around 20kms from the Refugi Fontverd to the town Encamp in Andorra and arrived to Coll d’Ordino. Watch the full video here:
The day before we had a hard time planning that day because we were falling a bit behind our initial plan of the hike. So we decided to divide counting all the extra distance in several days to be able to compensate it step by step. The plan for the day was to get to the town Encamp that was in 8kms going mostly downhill where we wanted to buy some food to resupply. And then we saw the major 1000m uphill further on the trail and we hoped to be able to do around 7 kilometers more and stop somewhere up there. We have started the day at 6am waking up in the quiet forest where we camped the day before. We had a good night and heard only the roe deer sounds somewhere deep in the forest. We even felt like it was one of the warmest nights we had on the trail so far which was very nice. We did pack all our stuff first, then had our breakfast and wrapped up our tent. Also we collected some water from the source close to the refuge and we were out on the trail at 8am which was a normal good start for us. The trail continued to follow the river for the first several kilometers and it was going mostly downhill. As always, we did enjoy the fresh morning air and walking in the shade with no sun during the first hours of hiking. But the weather was promising to be hot and sunny again. We have done the downhill part along the river in around 40minutes and then faced ascend to tackle which didn’t seem to be very long nor difficult. So first we had to go through some rock fall parts and then the trail began to twist in a zigzagging mode which made it easy to follow. On the way we met the cutest donkey that was hiding in the rocky barn for some reason and we did feed him with a bit of green leaves and grass. The sun was gradually coming up on the horizon but fortunately the mountain hill and forest was protecting us from its rays. Getting higher we could enjoy the beautiful views of the green valley from above. In some parts of that uphill the path was even going flat which helped us to conquer it even faster. At the highest point, we saw the indicator stating that we have around 1.30 hours till the town Encamp left. The trail continued to go in the shade of the forest and it followed the gentle downhill for the first part. Some parts of the route were made of solid rocks which reminded us of old Roman roads. Then we came to the lovely park area that was quite big and had a lot of benches and rest areas in it. It still felt like we were in the natural forest and followed the easy well-made walking path. At some points there were even the tunnels made in the rocks for the people to pass through. There we started to meet quite a bit of people but nevertheless it was nice to walk there. At the final stretch of the park area we came to the lake Engolasters that had a turquoise blue waters and we learnt on the info board that it was an artificial lake used for the hydroelectric facilities. That was a very common practice throughout different regions of Pyrenees. After that we had to do a pretty challenging and steep uphill much more steep than the one before as we had to skip over the rocks and wet roots and constantly watch our step. So it did slow down our pace significantly. It was already around 12pm when we entered the town Encamp. First we went through the the several gardens in the outskirts of it and then arrived to the streets of the town itself. It did look like a small old town with lots of old rocky buildings in it as well as newly constructed houses. We went to the first closest supermarket and bought all the necessary food, like cheese, grains, bread etc. Also had our little snack on one of the benches in the park and headed outside the town. The time was already 14pm and it was the hottest period of the day. We saw that in front of us we had a long and hard uphill to conquer and we didn’t know how we are going to do it at such hour. We just hoped for the shaded trail that won’t be too steep. But when we started hiking up we quickly realized that we won’t be able to tackle it now as we saw no trees along it in the distance and the ascend was quite steep. So we made our mind to take the siesta time for several hours and then continue hiking for several kilometers more when the sun would be a bit lower on the horizon. It wasn’t our normal routine of hiking as the previous days we managed to arrive at our camp spot until this hour already and chill out for the rest of the day but that day it wasn’t the case. As we did waste some time in the town while buying the food and so had to adjust our routine accordingly. It felt like it was even hotter that day with more than 30 degrees Celsius even in the shade. But we luckily found a nice spot at the field where to stop and had a nice rest there just laying down and eating some fruit. We were glad about our decision because we knew how bad it felt after hiking in direct strong sun as there was a real danger of a sun stroke. When we were back on the trail at 16pm the sun was still quite high but the angle of it wasn’t that aggressive anymore. It was obviously very hot but at least we got more shade on the trail. Getting higher we could see the panoramic views of the town Encamp and also the mountain where we came from and our down trail that we did on our way to the town. The path was climbing quite steep and we were very hot as even in the shade we got no fresh air nor wind. That uphill part reminded us of the other trail we did 2 years ago – Cami de Sant Jaume. It was our first Camino de Santiago and we remembered it well because of the hot weather we had to hike it in. And we knew that we entered now kind of the same region of that Camino we did so maybe it was the climate norm for these places. And even the fact that we were now higher up in the mountains didn’t help. So the climb did continue for quite some time, at places it was going fine and at some places it had the steep small rock parts on which it was hard to balance. When we finally came all the way up to the flatter more forestry part we felt absolutely killed and exhausted. That climb seemed very long and tiring to us. We would definitely advice to tackle this part in the early morning if possible as only then it will be bearable and less exhaustive. In our case, it was inevitable but we would escape it if we could and if we knew how hard it will be in advance. Then the trail turned to the wide mountain plain with lots of possibilities to camp but unfortunately we didn’t find any water source there exploring the surroundings. It was such a pity because at that point all we really wanted was to stop there and have our well-deserved rest. But still we had to continue on. We came out to the Coll d’Ordino high viewpoint from where the pictures were incredible and very picturesque and we could see all the surrounding mountain ranges from it. Then the trail went down following the steep path with huge rocks on it. There we met several water sources but it was already late as we didn’t see any possible camp spots whatsoever there. The slopes were very steep and abrupt on both sides of the trail and down below we were following the river flow. So we ended up doing at least 6kms more down the trail and hiked till the darkness. Luckily, we found our spot at the river bank in the forest away from the trek. We were so exhausted that we barely could set up our tent, have a quick meal and went to sleep. How do you deal with the hottest time of the day when hiking?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostMon Jul 19, 2021 4:52 am 
Gas Stove Vs Wood Stove Cooking System Comparison - Pros and Cons and Which One to Choose? Watch the full video here:
In this video we are sharing the new gear comparison video and this time it is going to be the comparison of two different cooking systems – gas stove and a wood stove. We discovered the wood stove only this year and have been testing it a lot and the gas stove has been our go to cooking set up since the beginning so we have 3 years of experience with it. We thought it would be interesting to compare these two systems as they are quite different from each other and talk more about some pros and cons of the each one. What is your preferred cooking system and why?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSat Jul 31, 2021 3:10 am 
Impossible Descent on GR11 and Breathtaking Views of Comapedrosa Natural Park - Day 5 – Crossing from Andorra to Spain In this hike report we are sharing our Day 5 of GR11 trail when we hiked from the town La Massana to the Comapedrosa natural park. Watch the full video here:
We woke up that day later than usual in our quiet camp spot in the forest close to the river. It was a nice idyllic place away from the path where we wish we could stay for longer. The day before was a challenging day for us when we had to do more distance than we had planned and arrived to our spot already in the dusk. So we felt broken apart and the muscles were very sore this next day. We decided to do the chill out day and instead of following the GR11 trail that was going up in the mountains again, do an easier shortcut along the car roads leading us to the same village where the GR arrives. So we planned to pass by the village Ordino, La Massana and arrive to Arinsal. This way we hoped to save some powers for the next big day when we had a long and challenging trail to tackle. So we were out on the trail at 9am and it was going downhill all the way to the first village. At first the path was quite rocky and narrow but soon it got wider and seemed like a gravel farmer route. This way we arrived to the village Ordino quite fast and it looked very pretty and neat with nice park area. Then we got out on the fields and there we saw many of them were occupied by the grape agriculture that was definitely an unusual culture to cultivate in the mountains where it can get very cold in winter. But it was obvious that it was successful. On most of them were working the water pressure hoses watering the fields and they were giving the pretty rainbows. The trail was going very easily along those fields for several kilometers and before long we arrived to the bigger town La Massana. We passed it by the side hiking along the streets for some time and then had to follow the car roads for another 5 to 7kms. The route was very easy but somewhat boring and quite hot, as we had to go without shade for some time. We bought some food supplies in the local supermarket of the village Arinsal that was our final destination and had a bit of rest in the outskirt forest of it. It was already 2pm by that time so we felt like having a bit of siesta won’t be anything extra. So we did spent a good hour or so there in the shade having our meal and snack and got out on the trail again. We hoped to be able to find some spot to camp shortly, as we didn’t want to waste any more powers that day. From the previous day experience we knew that there can be some difficult terrains stretching for several kilometers where it is very hard to find any flat spots but prayed that it wouldn’t be the case that day. At that point, we saw some clouds in the sky and it was the first time it happened when hiking this trail for 5 days. And we even heard a bit of thunder in the distance but luckily the clouds we passing by the other side. So in around 20 minutes or so hiking further up the trail we were able to find a spot close to the river again. It was a very narrow place between the huge rocks and the roots of the trees but we still managed to fit our tent there. The terrain was uneven and had a slope but it was the best we could find and we were glad that at least we have a place to stop. There we cooked our meal that we were to divide as always for three times: one for dinner, another one for breakfast and lunch the next day. Then we were good to go to sleep. The next morning we could wake up at 6am as we slept surprisingly well at that spot. We think what helped was the grass that we collected and layered underneath the groundsheet to have a more even flat surface. So we were ready to go for the challenging trail. We planned to do at least 15kms hiking 1000m up and then 900m down getting over the mountain Comapedrosa. And that was the day when we were crossing the border as well from Andorra back to Spain. We expected this hiking trail to be one of the most beautiful as we were going to pass through many lakes, mountain ranges and beautiful pictures overall. So we had our breakfast, wrapped our camping gear and went out on the trek. Close to where we camped a bit higher up we noticed the flat grass in several spots and guessed that some hikers may have stayed there in the tents also. Overall we saw many people hiking alongside us with big backpacks and we were happy to know that there were many more other backpackers jus like us hiking as independent as possible and staying in their tents. From the very start, the trail climbed a steady quite angled uphill and it continued all the way through. We did cross several wooden bridges over the rivers and waterfalls and walked mostly in the forest. Also we started to get some views over the valley behind us in the morning mist. It was the early morning and so we enjoyed the fresh air and peacefulness of the trail. It was another advantage if starting early – you get to enjoy the solitude and have all the nature around to yourself with no other people around. It was an amazing feeling. Soon the sun came out and the sky was perfectly clear so we assumed it was going to be another hot day. The shade of the trees was our savior but we knew it won’t last for long as we were getting higher. On this part we met several beautiful high waterfalls coming down from the rocks and running into the river. The marking of GR was very good, it actually had been the same great during the whole trail we did already. We barely had to look at GPS on some crossroads to make sure we were taking the right direction but otherwise it was very accurate. In Andorra in some places there was a GRP passing along the GR11 and then it could create a confusion as the marks were the same red and white. This way we did our first half of the uphill around 3kms, which wasn’t too difficult nor steep, and we did it in an hour or so. We came out to the great viewpoint from where could see the valley in the glowing light behind us and the impressive mountain range in front of us that we had to tackle. It looked much more difficult and steep but as we were going ahead of time we could hike at a slow pace. Before the ascend started we walked through the wide mountain plateau with the high grass and then the rocky path began. We already saw that we are going to hike in the sun all the way through with no single shade. It was expected because of the higher elevation of more than 2000m but we knew that it will be very hot. The sky was clear and there were no clouds on the horizon yet. It was quite nice as it meant that it won’t rain nor thunderstorm any time soon. On the forecast, we saw the probability of thunderstorm later in the day so we were glad that there were no signs of it still. Also we had the fresh breeze coming our way which was helping a lot. The path was going in a zigzagging mode at first and it was not as unreachable as it looked from the distance anymore. And it made us think that in life we face so many times a similar situation when we set big goals and try to plan ahead it often seems very hard to reach. But then when you stop thinking and just make the first step and then the next step you eventually are able to achieve it with time. This was one of the great lessons we learnt while hiking mountains. From there the views were getting more and more breathtaking and we could spot a big rocky building down below which was the Refugi de Comapedrosa that we just passed by. Gradually the trail was becoming rockier and steeper as we progressed further up. The mountain ridges were getting closer to us and we were almost at the same level with them now. This way we came to the first lake where we had our snack, then we did a half circle around it and the most challenging part of the ascend started. We had to literally climb it with the hands at some parts. But luckily it wasn’t too long before we came to the other lake Estany Negre. It fascinated us by how clear and deep it was and the turquoise blue color of the water was unbelievable. As we were walking by its shore we were wondering whether it was possible to swim there and if anybody ever attempted it here. It was obvious that the water should be freezing cold but still in the special suit it could be possible. There we also met some patches of snow here and there. The views of the lake waters and the rocks on the sides were incredible and we took our time taking photos there and just admiring this beauty. The last part of an uphill was constantly going steep and it lasted for several hundred meters before we stepped at the highest spot of the Portella de Baiau. It was the final destination of most of the people hike and some of them were climbing up to the Pic de Comapedrosa (2942m) itself that was only a hundred meters higher than the level we were at 2800m. We were right at the border then between Andorra and Spain that as always was passing along the highest mountain ridges. The views were epic from there on all sides – the rocky massive peaks on one side and the panoramic picture of the incredible blue lakes down below on the other side. It was the most beautiful view we got on GR11 so far and we couldn’t help admiring it for the half an hour or so and taking some pictures. It was simply breathtaking and unforgettable. Then the extremely steep downhill was awaiting us and when we first saw it- it was hard to believe that we actually need to go this way – that impossibly vertical it looked. But checking the map we got convinced that it was the way we had to go as there was no other leading down to the Comapedrosa natural park. And it did turn out to be the most challenging descend we’ve ever done on any other hike this far. It was much harder than the uphill we did before and very tiring for the knees. It had many small rocks on it on which it was easy to slip down and very hard to keep the balance. Sometimes it felt like getting down and slipping down on the butt was the best idea. The trekking poles were helping out a lot and we definitely wouldn’t be able to make it without this extra support. At times we wondered why the GR11 route creators chose this way as it was too extreme for the long distance hikers carrying the big backpacks. When we got down to the first lake of we felt very hungry and so stopped at the shore to have our lunch. The landscapes were very picturesque at this place and we enjoyed having a bit of rest there. We’ve spotted the cute furry marmot on the rock and it was a joy to observe him. Then we continued to make our way down going along the lake and getting through the cows who were laying down in the sun. The trail continued to be quite rocky but nowhere near as extreme as that previous part. We passed by the Refugi de Baiau which was a small unusual looking building made of metal, crossed several water streams and finally were happy to be back on the firm ground again. We had planned to hike 5 kilometers more down the trail and hoped that it will be gentler to us. In the distance the low clouds hugging the mountain ranges were coming towards us and it looked very beautiful. The weather was still very nice and there were no serious clouds on the sky. And we hoped if the weather changes to descend down in time. So we hiked for several kilometers more descending down the valley surrounded by the magnificent mountain ranges on both sides and enjoying the nice weather with fresh wind. We decided to stop at the Coma de l’Orri area walking down the flow of the river and getting away from the trail in the forest area. We ended up coming down 600m and we were at around 2000m of elevation level. We did plan to do several kilometers more but as we were absolutely killed by that moment we didn’t have any more powers left. Thy sky was being covered in more clouds but luckily, it did not end up raining. So we had our small shower, cooked dinner and set up our tent. We had one of our quickest meals - mashed potatoes and had little time to spare before we went to sleep. Have you ever swam in the high mountain lake? How did it feel?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostMon Nov 01, 2021 1:04 pm 
Back on GR11 and Hot Day getting to Estany de Sant Maurici in Catalonia, Spain| Day 7 – Guingueta d’Aneu to Espot For that 7th day of GR11 we were planning to do 15kms from Guingeta de Aneu to Espot and then finally get to Estany de Sant Maurici doing 800m uphill. We wanted to start the hike gradually because this was our first long distance trail that year. Also we tried to plan the stages so that we would do the major elevation gain in the morning and then be getting down to the valleys to spent the night at the lower altitudes. Watch the full video here:
So we spent the night at the campground in Guingeta de Aneu and it was very noisy and crowded. There we realized that as we start our hike in August it is going to be the high season and crowds of people almost everywhere. We couldn't escape it because the weather during July was still very unstable with lots of rainy and cold days so we were waiting long to finally get started. At that time the forecast was promising a heat wave coming our way and thus very hot days ahead of us. So we began our climb getting along the Embalse de la Torrasa which was a wide part of the river and then turned to the fields and forest. It was already 10am when we started walking and the sun was high up. At first the trail was following the shaded path and was not too steep. We were going to stealth camp all the way and so were fully loaded with camping gear as well as food supplies like cereals, dry bread, dehydrated tomatoes etc. As the first 4 days of the hike we were not going to encounter any possibility to resupply. So it was going to be pretty hard the first couple of days but we hoped that as we go and eat the weight was going to decrease. Then the trail turned to the car road where we had to walk for 3 kms or so. It was quite busy unusual for such type of the secluded places. It was mostly in the direct sunlight and although it was only 11.30 it was cruel on us. We were glad when we turned away from it to the shaded path leading straight to the village Espot. This is where we started to meet many people on the way. The path was climbing gently uphill and went partly in the shade. We already started to feel the heat pretty strong. The path was quite flat and had a lot of benches alongside. So we made the last 3kms until the village Espot. Espot was a typical small rocky Pyrenean village that even had a ski resort with a proper name. There we bought a bit of fresh tomatoes and two peaches to have lunch with and were out of it. On the way out we've noticed the gate that obviously served as an entrance to the National Park Estany de Sant Maurici and probably were charging a fee for the vehicle entrance. Not long after we decided to have a break close to the road in the shade and have our lunch there. We had a leftover bulgur from the previous evening and we added our tomatoes there. We had a nice rest in that place for an hour or so and were out on the car road again. We had to do only a km or so on it and we noticed the huge amount of truck cars passing by probably picking up people from the lake up above. Then we turned to the forest path and it was already 14pm at that point so we just prayed for the trail to go in the shade. It was very difficult to walk at that time and every step felt like a burden. We had to do 6.5 kms more up and every km we had to stop in the shade to rest. We were afraid to get a sun stroke in such heat and knew that better we go slow. It was a payback for starting late and we promised ourselves to get back to the routine the next day. There were quite a bit of people there walking too and luckily the path was partly in the shade but the sunny parts were killing and we were sweating like crazy all over the body. It was climbing gently uphill with no steep parts at all and we were grateful for that. After we walked on it for 5kms we stumbled upon the wide green plains close to the river bank and given that it was already 16.30pm we decided it was time to stop. We didn't do the last 2kms to the lake and 200m of uphill that we planned so we had to do it the next day. As it was quite late in the day and we weren't sure about whether we'll find any place to camp up there at the lake or no. So we made our mind to stop there at lower altitude of around 1700m. We still had time to take a shower under the sky as it was very hot and cooked our dinner before setting up a tent. The evening was very nice and warm and we would spend more time outside but had to hide in the tent from mosquitos as we were in the forest. The place we found for the tent was relatively flat and we hoped to have a nice rest there. The next day was a big day when we would have to do more than 20kms in order to go over the mountain pass and get lower down to camp. We had 1200m of elevation change in total for uphill and downhill. We expected that day to be beautiful as we would be passing by many lakes and amazing mountain peaks. What long distance hike did you do this year?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.

awilsondc
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Nov 07, 2021 12:16 pm 
Hiking the World of Lakes in Wonderful Estany i Sant Maurici National Park on GR11 in Pyrenees|Day 8.1 On Day 8 of GR11 we had a big plan of doing around 20kms and 1000m elevation change getting through Estany i Sant Maurici National Park in Catalan Pyrenees, Spain hiking through many lakes and climbing over the 2600m high Pass de la Ratera. Watch the full video here:
The night was quiet and warm and we had a nice sleep. We woke up at 6am at our camp spot on GR11 and as we knew that it is going to be a hot day we tried to wrap up everything as quickly as possible. We didn't know for sure how the terrain was going to be so we wanted to make the major uphill as early as possible in the day. From the very start of the day we saw many people walking by us on the trail and we assumed that it’s going to get even busier later. So we had our breakfast and were out on the trail. At first, the path was following quite a wide dirt road and a gentle uphill. Soon we came out to the water source Font de Ermita where we planned to resupply and the water turned out to be very nice and tasty. We didn't even had to filter it. Then the last km or so to the lake was very picturesque as we were surrounded by many amazing mountain peaks and abrupt cliffs. We made a couple of photos and continued on. All the first part of the trail was going through the shaded forest and we enjoyed the fresh air very much. Soon we came out to the scenic Lake Estany de Sant Maurici. The place was glorious with the beautiful mountain peaks all around and the clear blue turquoise waters of the lake. We could see that it was quite deep too. We could imagine doing great photography work there at a sunset time. It even reminded us of the well know Lago di Braies in Italian Dolomites by the size and location of it. There was a circular route around it too. We continued going along the lake for a short time before the GR11 turned to the side and started to follow more steep uphill but it was still going in the shade which was nice. Then we heard the strong sound of water coming down from the distance and arriving close saw a big waterfall called Cascada de la Ratera. It was quite impressive and immense and standing close to it we could feel how powerful it was. The feeling of the water spray on the skin consisting of little drops was very nice too. The trail went up for a little while before we came out to another this time located higher up - lake Estany de Ratera. It was similar in size to the previous one and no less beautiful. We had a quick snack in the shade there and while having a break we were surprised to see the car trucks passing on the road. It turned out that it was possible to get up to this high point with the help of this lift and then doing a tour come down by yourself as quite a few people were doing we suppose. There we also saw several bushes of wild blueberries that was rare to meet. Then the dirt road came to an end soon and we started walking on the usual rocky paths. The trail was becoming steeper and steeper and the terrain more rugged as we were passing several more lakes climbing up. The sun was also already pretty high on the horizon and it was easy to get a heat struck. Without pausing for long in the shade we were ready to tackle the last portion of the uphill… What is your favorite mountain lake to visit?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Nov 14, 2021 5:20 am 
EXTREME FATIGUE on the BRUTAL terrain of GR11-Where will we stop for the night? |Day 8.2 Pass de Ratera to Lake Montcasau In the second half of the Day 8 of GR11 we were getting through Estany i Sant Maurici National Park in Catalan Pyrenees, Spain hiking through many lakes, climbing over the 2600m high Pass de la Ratera, to the Refugi de Colomers and Lake Montcasau. Watch the full video here:
Without pausing for too long in the shade we were ready to tackle the last portion of the uphill. It was steep and many times we were out of breath more so because of the very hot weather and we were sweating a lot too. Even the wind wasn't cool enough to help it which was unusual for this altitude. So we continued on and the last couple of kms were the hardest, we couldn't even enjoy the scenery that much. When we were finally at the highest point of the trail for that day of 2600m we felt like it was about time to take a break. And so we did eating the leftovers from the yesterday's dinner and enjoying the beautiful landscapes around with multiple rugged peaks and blue lakes down below. There we caught the phone signal and 4G as well and of course, we messaged our relatives right away as we knew that it could be a problem in many places on GR. Then we began to slowly coming down, the sun was at its peak performance but we couldn't help it as we didn't want to spend the night very high up and also to keep up with the plan we had to keep going. Because of the heat, it was harder to walk and thus it was taking us longer. Alongside us were walking many other backpackers too and we assumed by how big their backpacks were that they were doing a long distance trail also. We felt sorry for them hiking up at such heat as only now doing downhill we finally weren't sweating as much. As expected from our experience downhill part wasn't less challenging and demanding. It was rocky and steep as well and the path was very uneven. It was good to feel the other muscle groups working but the knees were definitely feeling it intensely. When we reached the first major lake on the other side of the mountain - Lac deth Ombrer we felt like having another small break under the shade of the rock. Then we continued going downhill. The views of many blue lakes at the bottom were mesmerizing on the way down and we enjoyed them quite a lot. The trail was gradually coming down and that part reminded us quite a bit of the Bouillouses natural park area and Pic Carlit range in Catalan Pyrenees that we hiked quite a lot. The terrain was still quite challenging and rocky all the way through with several steep parts. The legs and knees were starting trembling at this point because of the fatigue. Then we crossed the dam de Colomers which was quite unusual and turned to the Refugi de Colomers that looked abandoned for some reason. There we were a bit confused to find out that we had another uphill to do on our way as we didn't notice it looking at the map the other day seeing just the major one. But it was obvious that following our plan we had to do another 200m up and come from 2100m to 2300m. At that point in time with the heat and also muscle fatigue we had after doing around 15kms it was very hard to do and we were almost ready to give up. But at the same time not seeing any potential camp spots for us with very hilly terrain around we had to continue. So first we had a bit of an uphill but very short and then we came out to the other side of the hill and started to walk alongside of it. For several kilometers, the trail was going more or less on the level but the path looked very abandoned and narrow as if very few people ever passed this route. We had to get through the bushes and many fallen trees on the way. Then the last uphill part started. It didn't seem that much doing 200m up but we did feel it a lot especially as the heat at 5pm was still very strong. The trail was going in a zig sagging mode but was quite steep. We were absolutely killed and very exhausted at that moment and all we wanted is just to find the flat camp spot and rest. Also we were running out of water and didn't see any possibility to resupply there. So we came up to 2300m again and to our eyes opened an amazing panorama of several lakes underneath. We started to descend down and realized that this part was also quite steep and we couldn't do it quickly. We gathered up the last powers and were determined to find a place near the lake. Unfortunately, we didn't meet any water sources and had to go without water. The last kilometers were the hardest. When we finally came down to the Lake Montcasau we saw a more or less flat spot near the Cabana de Montcasau with the rests of fire pit left by some other hikers probably. We did wander a bit and found a spot a bit further away from the trail, it was full of cow pies but we covered it with some grass and decided to set up our tent there. We barely had time to wash off the sweat from the whole day of hiking, cook dinner and then went to sleep. It was extremely windy there probably because of elevation of 2100m but still not cold. We were very exhausted and all the muscles were hurt after 20kms of hard terrain hiking. Also we had a headache from the extreme heat that struck us badly during whole day. We went to sleep not knowing what we were going to plan for the next day.. What was the longest day on the trail you had when you got the most exhausted (not necessarily distance wise) and where was it?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Nov 21, 2021 4:43 am 
Are we about to quit the GR11? – Surviving the extreme night and making big decisions | Day 9 Lake Montcasau to Arties On the day 9 of GR11 we made 11kms hiking down the valley from Lake Montcasau to Plan de Nera and river Valarties and finally came to the village Arties in Catalonia, Pyrenees, Spain. For this day it was clear that we won't be able to do much distance and also because we felt like having a rest we decided to turn away from GR11 at the point where it was climbing up again and turn to the opposite direction to the village Arties. That way we still were going to do around 11kms. There we hoped to have a couple day rest at the campsite and return back to GR with new powers. Also we thought it was a good idea because the next couple of days due to forecast were going to be extremely hot as the whole Spain was hit by a heat wave.. Watch the full video here:
We had a pretty bad night in terms of sleep, in the first place because it was extremely windy the whole night and we were afraid for our tent to be able to hold it up with no damage. Secondly, because late at night we had a thunderstorm which was quite loud and intense but with little rain. And the terrain we chose for our tent wasn't ideal, very hilly and uneven. As a result we slept in for one hour and felt very broken apart that day. Of course most of it was the consequence of the previous day with too many difficult kilometers of hiking. It was obvious to us now that this was clearly too much of a distance to do on GR11 and we had to look closer and study our plans better for the day ahead. So without even having a breakfast we wrapped up our tent and went out on the trail thinking about getting lower and finding a place to snack there. The place itself where we camped was very scenic and had fantastic 360-degree views all around. So we started to come down and the trail went very steep at first getting to the river gorge. We had to take our time there and to go with care. But there was almost no wind and it was a joy to walk at peace and in the shade. The morning air was very fresh and tasty smelling. Then eventually we got to the gravel road part where we started to meet some cars, people biking and trekking with backpacks. It was going along the river for quite some time and we decided to stop at its bank to have our breakfast. We enjoyed this moment thoroughly listening to the sound of the water stream and eating with no rush. After a 40min break or so we got back on the trail and were following the gravel road all the way down. Turning back we could see an amazing view of the mountain range standing as a rock wall behind us. Downhill was going mostly in the shade in the forest so we had no direct sunlight on us which was very nice. The forest was dense and filled with amazing green rocks covered with moss. It looked as if even a single ray of sunshine had a hard time getting through the tree branches. The forest farm road continued in a zig zagging mode and at times was getting steeper and rockier. After several kms we came to the Plan de Nera and river Valarties which was a narrow green valley with few rock buildings on it. There our ways with GR11 were separating us going in the opposite direction to the village. We came to the riverbank again to have a breather, as it was getting hotter and spent half an hour there snacking and soaking our feet in the water. Then we were back on the road as we had 5.5kms more to hike to the village. We knew it was going to be hard because it was already the middle of the day and the sun was shining high and strong and there was no single cloud on the sky. And it was definitely cruel because the road was very sunny with little shade on it and it felt like an eternity. When we finally came to the village Arties we saw that it was a cute little place with a small chapel on the hill and very unusual looking buildings for the Pyrenean village. It seemed closer to us to the Austrian architecture in South Tyrol for example. So we walked through it to find the campground and were disappointed to know that it was full of bungalows and had little place for pitching the tents. So they told us there were no free spots there and that it was necessary to make a reservation before. So after considering different options we learnt that there is a bus going in direction to Vielha and the Vilaller where we hoped to find a free camp spot in one of the campgrounds that were there. So we had to make a change in Vielha that turned out to be a pretty big village and this way we got to Vilaller. There we did our shopping and had to walk 4 kms more on the car road till the nearest camping Alta Ribagorca. Fortunately, there were free spots there and we could stop at that place. We hoped to gather our powers, wait for the heat to cease and start again with GR11 soon.. Have you ever had to quit the trail? When and why was it?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSat Nov 27, 2021 1:41 pm 
Aegismax Nano 2 Sleeping Bag from Aliexpress Full Review | Lightest and Warmest Budget Bag Available? Watch the full video here:
In this video we share with you the new gear review of the Aegismax Nano 2 Ultralight sleeping bag. Previously we have already done a review of the Aegismax Mini bag and this Nano 2 one is a warmer version of it. We do plan on doing a separate comparison video of these two bags very soon as well. We haven’t used this Nano 2 bag for very long as we just got it last winter and had a chance to use it only in spring. But as we already had a long experience with this brand of sleeping bags we think we can make our conclusions and share our opinion with you. As usual, we will include in the video the general specs of the bag: weight and size, compactness, warmth, comfort, durability, our own experience and final thoughts about it. What is your experience with this sleeping bag? What sleeping bag you use for spring and autumn?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Dec 05, 2021 11:31 am 
Excited to start again with GR11 in Navarra, Spain and Camino del Norte vibes - Day 10 Ochagavia, Sierra de Abodi, Hiriberri After having an extreme heat wave in the mountains for a week or so in Catalonia province we have decided to move to a different region Navarra, village Ochagavia and start our GR11 trail again there hoping that the weather would be cooler. Also we liked the idea to start the GR trail in Navarra because that way we'll be able to walk until the ocean coast and finish the route there. As we have been missing the ocean quite a lot since the time of our last Camino. To our calculation, it should have taken us 9 or 10 days to get to the coast. Watch the full video here:
The plan for that day was to do 15kms from the village Ochagavia getting up 600 meters to 1300m level. We were going to have less elevation changes than when we were more at the northern side of the Pyrenees and we hoped that it would help us to make it even in the hot weather if this would be the case. As we supposed we'd have less challenging trail and have more shade than in the high mountain parts that we hiked before. But of course we didn't know for sure how it would all go and were ready for some challenges as always.. Have you ever been to Navarra? Would you like to visit it?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSat Jan 29, 2022 12:46 pm 
Bird and Animal Paradise in Elizondo and the Origin of the Basque Language | Day 14 of GR11 The plan for the day was to do the 5.5km downhill of 500m to the town Elizondo and then stretch further from it for 7km more climbing up the same amount of kms. In total we had to do 13kms. So it sounded like it could be quite challenging especially counting that we would do our shopping in town and go uphill fully loaded. But we hoped for the best and that the uphill won't be too steep. Watch the full video here:
That night we didn't sleep very well because the spot we found the day before was very uneven and was located on the slope. But nevertheless because of how tired we were we managed to get some sleep. The place itself was very scenic with several big beech trees and with the view on green hills and down the valley. So in the morning we had our breakfast and wrapped everything starting the day at 8.30am. As always the start of the day was very humid and with lots of low clouds. At first the trail went through the slippery and muddy terrain, sometimes crossing the river streams so we had to watch our step. We met lots of water fountains on the way too, so there was no shortage of it. Sometimes the path went too narrow and we had to wade through the jungle of fern, so big and tall it was. Looking at the places around we were happy that the day before we didn't decide to stretch further on the trail as all we saw was the same steep slope with no flat spots for camping whatsoever. The weather was sunny from the very start which was the first day out of three in the row when it happened. There were some clouds below us that soon were disappearing as the sun was coming up. After several kilometers the trail came out to the gravel farm road and went more gentle along the fields. We've noticed many horse pastures on the sides, some of them were funny looking pony horses running through the fern. Also we weren't sure if we understood it right but it seemed to us that on some fields was planted fern which we thought was growing wildly anyway so it was a bit strange to see. Being hiking the 5th day around GR11 in Navarra we felt like our body and muscles were getting really fatigue and sore and the nighttime wasn't enough to recover fully. It would be nice at that point to stop at some campground for an extra night for that reason but as we did not see any in the town and along the way we had to stretch further with no break. Closer to the town the gravel road turned more steep but it was only for several hundred meters. Then we had some time to spend in the town after doing our usual grocery shopping. So we made a bit of a tour gazing at the old architecture and beautiful church of Santiago. It turned out to be a decent sized town located on both sides of the river Baztan with many bridges, facilities and shops in it. What we especially liked about it was the river bank where we could see big fish swimming and many ducks with their nestlings. Also while eating ice cream sitting at the river we were able to spot the stork resting on the nearby roof and probably supervising the water for the fish hunting which was very unexpected and rare sight to see. Looking down into the river from the bridge, we spotted some nutrias, probably a female and her baby swimming and getting out to the bank. It was definitely the highlight of that day and the most precious moments. As we were walking through all the recent towns, we of course noticed the appearance of double names in Basque language. And it was our second time there and it still seemed a mystery to us how different the language was from all others we have ever encountered. We knew that it is considred one of the only Pre-Indo-European language left in Europe and that there are three theories existant of its origin: Native origin that has no proof of finding any kind of relationship between the Basque language and other modern languages in other regions, Basque Iberism and Caucasian which we found the most interesting as we would never suspect it. It assumes that the Basque language and the languages of the Caucasus can have a direct relation, because they share some linguistic similarities absent in the Indo-European languages. We found this topic fascinating and interesting to learn more about. Leaving the town, we had around half of the trail left for that day. The trail went to the outskirts of the village and soon the uphill started. First it went on the farm road and then turned to the narrow steep path. The inclination was quite significant and so it slowed down our pace significantly. The weather was helping a lot - as it wasn't hot even though it was sunny but the humidity was quite high and there was no wind there. Then the trail started following the secondary car road for approximately 2kms. And we think it made this part less challenging. Then we came out to the parking lot with the rest area and benches, we had a bit of break there and continued going. After the path turned to the beech forest again and went all in the shade, the climb was gentle enough. We were only 1.8 km away from the water fountain at that point and we hoped to be able to find the camp spot soon. We saw that the slope was quite steep in the forest and were already concerned about finding the place. The fountain was nice with the clean drinkable water and so we could fill all the bottles from it. Then we had to wander away from the trail into the forest and found that there were several different farm routes and lots of paths crossing it that weren't even on the map. But still we were already very tired and exhausted at this point having done 13kms with 600m down and then up and so we were glad to find more or less flat spot in between the routes. It was already 17pm when we arrived at the place and so we had time only for cooking our meal and preparing our sleeping gear. We went to bed with the sounds of the sheep bells and hoped for the quiet night. The next day promised to be another challenging one.. What do you know about the Basque language origin?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Feb 06, 2022 1:20 am 
Quechua MH500 - Solid Comfortable Budget-Friendly Trekking Poles from Decathlon | Detailed Review Watch the full video here:
Today we are making another gear review of the Trekking Poles MH500 from Decathlon. As you may already know previously we have used the more basic Arpenaz100 trekking pole and this year we decided to try out the new superior trekking pole that was recommended to us by several people in the comments which we really appreciate by the way. It claims to be versatile, lightweight and comfortable pole made for regular hikers and mountain trekkers on rugged terrain. We are going to discuss their technical specs, comfort, all the benefits and drawbacks and our personal experience with them. How do you find these Quechua MH500 trekking poles?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 237 | TRs | Pics
Location: Spain
walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World
PostSun Mar 06, 2022 9:21 am 
Spectacular Wild Camp Spot on GR11 and Sharing our Real Camping Routine | Basque Country Hiking Day 17 Watch the full video here:
We got up later that day at around 7.30am because we had a bad sleep and couldn't rest very well. The base terrain below our tent was far from perfect and thus we were sliding down all the time as well as couldn't get a comfortable sleeping position all night. In addition, we were hearing the town and big road noise almost all night. It was the specialty of these places when we were hearing everything that was happening quite far away as if it was just around the corner of our tent. For example the noises of the farm houses and cows were very loud always. It was all because of the sound reflections due to the hilly terrain and lots of gorges and ravines, the sounds were travelling without borders. Fortunately, that day we didn't have a big plan and thought of doing only 7 or 8kms further down the trail. We wanted to make it a chill out and relaxed day and to have time to recover more before the last major day of the hike. Also we had an idea to film more of our camping routine that normally we simply don't have time and powers for. We again were camping under the beech and oak trees that were very cinematic looking in any time of the day. So we wrapped our stuff, had our breakfast and packed the tent with no rush. That day we almost ran out of power and needed to charge up our batteries so we set up our solar panel on top of the backpack hoping for the sunny weather. We went out on the trail at 9am which was quite late for us. At first we hiked through the same path that we already did yesterday going back and forth. Then we met a water fountain located right on the territory of the private house. It was nice and kind of these people to provide a source for the hikers as sometimes it was hard to find and reach for. So we filled the water bottles and walked through the beautiful backyard garden with lots of different flowers blossoming. The trail continued to follow the car road the next couple of kms and we were walking by the private houses and nearby gardens and fields. It was quite easy and gently coming down and up again with no steep parts. There were many blackberry bushes on the way that made for a good snack. At one point the trail turned to the narrow forest path and went 100m steep downhill all the way to the lake. From up above we could enjoy the nice panoramic views of the lake and its green banks as well as the high magnificent mountain range that looked like a solid wall in front of us. On the map, we saw that there were some hiking paths going along the ridge and through the peaks themselves. We thought that probably it made a very scenic hiking trail to do one day from which you are able to get the amazing views of the ocean coast we could imagine. Nevertheless, it looked very challenging and steep and better done with no backpacks at all. During all hiking days on many tops of the hills we were seeing the white antennas that were probably transmitting the phone and internet signal and its thanks to them we were having the good 4G coverage almost anywhere we ever stopped. So it was very convenient and nice. Soon we came out on the car road which went quite steep the last km or so to the lake. There we passed by some restaurant that was closed on weekdays and so we couldn't buy any ice cream there as we wished. The car road part continued and there were no picnic area or rest areas as we expected at the banks of the lake. We came out to the dam and it became obvious that it wasn't a natural lake. So we had to cross it and then the trail turned to the right away from the road. There we saw an info board of GR11 saying that there is 21km left until Heria Irun and it was very nice as we could see a relief map of the terrain a bit. But of course there was no clear idea of what expects us next and where there would be more chances to find a better more flat camp spot. There on the field we had our lunch break, we still had some cheese and tomatoes left so it was quite delicious. For the dessert we got the cookies and some local Navarran chocolate that we found in the small grocery shop the other day. And it was tasting amazing with added cranberries and 85 % of cocoa. In general, we love discovering and finding such goodies as chocolate and cheese in the local small shops, sometimes we find the real gems this way. After an hour or so we got back on the trail again, the sun was shining high and strong already but the wind was refreshing so even in the middle of the day it was fine to walk. We said good-bye to the flat field that looked like an ideal camp spot but just too close to the road and wish we could find something like this further down the trail. We started to tackle the uphill of 250m but because we saw it was going in a zigzagging mode following the gravel car road we were sure it was doable. And even though we were already tired because of the lack of sleep we still hoped to find a nice camp spot somewhere up. So it actually turned out to be an easy route climbing uphill in comparison to the others we've already done. The views and landscapes were amazing of the high green mountains surrounding us and beautiful violet flowers growing in abundance on the side of the road. The road was closed for an exclusive use of authorized vehicles and so there was not any traffic at all if not counting the cyclists. When we were almost at the place we could collect the water from the small stream and continued hiking for the next couple hundred meters. Then we faced the crossroads and started scouting the area for some possible camp spots. And to our happy surprise we found several good more or less flat spots further into the forest. Our happiness was over the roof as it was definitely one of the best spots that we found on this trail overall, the flattest and with the best panoramic views. It was an awesome final stop for this GR11 hike to remember. It was 16.30pm when we arrived and so we had time to take a shower with our flysheet set up as the wind was a bit cold for being under the sky. It felt nice and refreshing. And then we set up our tent trying to find the flattest spot possible there. Then followed our usual camping routine with cooking, unpacking sleeping gear, and looking at the map and making plan for the day ahead. Closer to a late evening some dark clouds appeared on the sky but we hoped it was not going to rain. The next day we had another 10kms to do to our final destination for the GR11 - Irun at the Cantabrian Sea. So it was an exciting and at the same time sad moment as we were close to finishing the trail. We went to sleep with a nice feeling of accomplishment and mooing of the cows and their bells in the distance as it became usual. What was one of the most memorable camp spots you can recall for you?

We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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