By Veronica

Estany del Port

Up early today, for a taxi ride. Not your normal taxi though, Ivan with his VW bus took us up an appalling dirt track to a car park below the Port de Martorat. It was a bone-shaking 20-minute ride. Despite the dreadful quality of the steep and winding track with loose stones, boulders, potholes, and drainage channels, we did encounter people in normal cars ... S is pretty hardy when it comes to mountain roads but he wouldn't have risked our car here.

From the car park we walked up what was once a refugee route between Spain and France, and is now a pleasant itinerary up to a group of lakes. Go large to see the cows. It was quite busy, but once we went beyond there up to the frontier at the Port de Martorat (Port = pass in Catalan) we didn't see that many walkers. Interesting the way the common language switched from English or Spanish to French within a few hundred metres of the border. We had lunch at the pass with a fine view down into France (extras will follow when I have a wifi connection worthy of the name).

Stats: 6.76 km, 416 m of  climbing, 3 hours 50 minutes of actual walking time, but we left the car park at 9 and strolled back at 3 to meet the taxi. At one point I'd envisaged letting the others go on to the pass while I waited for them at the lake, but I was well chuffed to make it to the top.

Back at Bordes de Graus we had a celebratory beer followed by showers for all and siestas for some. The campsite is heaving, but we are safely isolated in our gite. Yummy dinner of lentil and vegetable curry with rice, cooked by G and A, followed by cheese with fresh bread. 

I've started an album here, but uploads are intermittent when wifi permits.

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