Puerto de Marcadou

We wake up at 7am and check out of the hotel. We drive again to Formigal. On the Spanish border we get stopped by the patrol – a group of men with machine guns and masks. Apparently we are not the ones they are searching for so we are allowed to drive further.

We drive through the Formigal and find a car park near the hillside. I try to talk with a Spanish hiker. He doesn’t speak English, me – Spanish. Since I suspect that the summit we se in front of us might need a special tools like ropes. My suspicion gets supported by the two other hikers. One of them speaks some English. So we switch to plan B – Banos de Panticosa. This is a spa resort near the French border. Banos de Panticosa is surrounded by high mountains from three directions. The fourth is where the road comes in. The sunbeams touch the resort only a couple of hours around the noon. Currently the resort is very quiet – only the workers do their job to prepare everything for the high season.

Nobody gets in the resort with a car (except somebody with a right permit). We leave the car by the road in front of the post and move further by foot. First we have to pass the lake, then through the resort, then we find the path and climb uphill. The path is stony and steep, nevertheless broad and safe. When we have elevated above the village we get the picturesque sights on the lake and mountains across. We follow a quick stream Caldares de Banos with waterfalls here and there. Further uphill we have sights of reservoir – Embalse de Bachimana Alto. It looks strange – like lake with half water let out. We can see that the level of the water happens to be some ten or more meters higher.

We pass by the lake’s left side and climb uphill to the French border – to the pass to Marcadou valley (Puerto de Marcadou). There are interesting layered layered rocks on our way.  The pass seems not enough though – we proceed  to the summit on the left from the pass. There we have a short break and then descend the same way. On the way down we nibble with the wild (mountain?) raspberies.

On 5pm we jump in the car and drive to Laruns – to our camping apartment. It has two bedrooms, kitchen, shower room, toilet, and a place outside the building (rounded by 3m high hedgegrow). After we have moved in we drive to the town center for shopping. Still we do net realize that we will need something to light the gas range on. This we foind out when all the shops are closed. I drive to the town again to obtain a fire 🙂 Thanks to a kindness of the owner of the vine store I get the lighter. That’s cool!

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