The last part of our days in Spain and the second and last national park that we visted was the national park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido.
Monte Perdido meaning the "Lost Mountain" was where I found a beauty that I never expected. The nature is so splendid and grand here. I found the first national park very beautiful but this last one just opens up to another dimension of megabeauty. This is truly a place where nature shows you a piece of what heaven must look like (at least to me). This is where the Pyrnees really take your breath away.
This was our last full day in Spain and we had the choice of heading towards Barcelona to explore and spend a few hours there or do a hike here. To us the choice was very clear and simple. We wanted to stay here and explore this. This is a place I simply must come back to. I just wished that we had had more time here to do some more hiking even if we did a pretty great hike on this day.
The very first rays of early morning light making everything golden and shimmering. You almost feel like you are somewhere in the South West of the USA. Monte Perdido is like a cross between Zion national park and the Grand Canyon in the US.
The water in the creeks was so clear! It is hard to believe that it can be this clear. This is just a snap shot I took as we crossed a small wooden bridge. Crystal clear gets a whole new meaning here. Clear but also very very cold!
Like a dragon's back the limestone peaks reach up towards the sky. The highest peak is Monte Perdido itself at 3348 meters. This is the third highest peak in the Pyrenees.
We picked a hike that would take us along the ridge of the mountain at a pretty high altitude giving us some fantastic views. We had gone by the tourist office in Torla and picked up maps and suggested hikes routes the day before. Again communicating in Spanish made this all so much easier.
First part of the trail was a set of steep switch backs. Sweaty and out of breath we managed to complete this demanding first part of the trail in about an hour. Felt pretty darn good have done a climb of about 750 meters in that time. The big reward was reaching above the tree line and getting the full view over the valley.
In the end we ended up doing about 2000 height meters and a total of 18 km in about 7 hours. I feel pretty proud over that accomplishment.
A little photography break every now and then was a perfect way to catch my breath and get some water.
Deep canyons slice down from the high ground. Most of them were once carved by glaciers.
Such a diverse trail. First the compact little bushes we passed on the climb up. Then you have this that almost looks like prarie grass slowly swaying in the wind.
Popular area for many climbers as well. We were lucky enough to spot the two small figures against the mountain wall on their climb up. We heard them before we actually saw them. This is actually nothing that I would like to try. You just feel so tiny again these awesome mountain walls.
We saw numerous waterfalls. Some that we passed close by like this one and others that we saw in the distance. The sound of water is ever present around you. Deep down we could also catch glimpses of the river crisscrossing the valley.
This is what it really looked like. I have not enhanced or worked with the pictures posted here in any way.
The path sometimes turned quite narrow and tricky. One one side you have the seemingly endless canyon abyss. You got to stay on the path and keep focused. I understand why these trails are not recomended during early spring. At times when it is wet and there can still be patches of snow or ice or even rocks falling off from above.
All of this beauty that just captures you to the very core. As you turn around it is almost unbelivable to realize that you just walked a long the entire ridge of the other mountain on the other side.
It is so amazing how the landscape keeps chaning. As you reach the lower elevations you suddenly find yourself in a lush and bright green forrest.
Private veihcles may not enter this park either during Easter week and from July to mid September. There are shuttle busses leaving from Torla (the main gateway town) from 6 in the morning to 9 pm. There are some 6000 km of trail to hike in total in the Pyrenees both short and long distance trails. The optimum time for hiking is between mid June to early September and the trails tend to get more crowded in July and August during the peak summer and vacation months. It worked really well with the shuttle bus. It was a little hard finding our trail at first from where we were dropped of by the bus. Trails could have been a bit better marked but since we had a map and the gps on our phone it worked out well. This is a place that we will make sure to come back!