The camping trouble on GR11 and hiking endless hills with magnificent views| Day 15 in Navarra, Spain
The day started with the beautiful morning in the beech forest. The night was very calm and warm with no wind and no other sounds rather than the sheep bells.
We woke up early at 6.30am in order to begin the day at 8am that was a goal in which we succeeded. We quickly wrapped up our stuff, had breakfast and packed the tent.
The beginning of the trail was already familiar to us as we stretched further the day before. So we collected water from the clean source and filled all our water bottles and were good to go.
At first, we had to do the 117m climb to the top of the hill so we went through the forest and sheep pastures and came out to the fern plantations. From there the trail continued to follow the slope but this time going downhill. It was all following the farm routes which were not very steep.
The weather was partly cloudy in the morning. At first, it seemed sunny to us but then when we came out to the top of the hill there were low foggy clouds coming our way and covering the sun. We were grateful for that as we could walk with cool wind and no direct sunlight.
The way down continued as we walked along the sheep and horse pastures. At the end, the path turned to a more narrow one going through the fern plants and lots of spider webs. Then we came down to a small lawn with the bench and so we made a little break there.
After we crossed the car road and started to climb uphill again. From there on our way we had three 100m of elevation level hills to do. We didn’t know how steep and difficult they were going to be and so just kept going in order to make it as early as possible. On the way we met a farmer going on the small electric motorcycle and we thought it was curious to see.
We were thinking about how hilly the terrain is and how challenging it is to find a potential camp spot. Even when it seemed to be a field it was extremely inclined with nearly no flat spots suitable to camp. And it was the same situation in the forest.
The trail followed the farm route almost all the way through and that’s why it wasn’t as challenging. At that moment the sun started to come out and the clouds dissolve in the air and we began walking uphill in the sun. Then we crossed another car road where were parked several cars and went towards second uphill to do.
There were many crossroads at that part of the trail and no good signing so we had to check our map constantly in order to stay on the right track. The different routes and paths seemed to be endless. But the views from there were beautiful and scenic on all the surrounding hills and mountains and tiny white houses here and there.
We met quite a big group of French cyclists on the trail doing the 3rd uphill, probably just making their day tour. It was a reminder that we were going to come close to the border again very soon. It was around 12am, the sun was high and strong but the wind was still cool. At the top of that hill we decided to have our lunch break in the shade of the beech tree. We had our leftover oats with dry mushrooms and bread and just rested a little. We caught some internet connection there as well. Overall, on this trail we were gladly surprised of the quite good coverage and 4G signal almost anywhere we stopped at.
Then we continued hiking downhill and at times it was quite steep to do but still nothing too extreme. It was going on the farm routes and thus was easy enough. We had only 3kms left at that point until our marked water source and potential place to stop to camp. So we made it to the cow and horses pastures and some big building looking like the farm house that we needed to hike through. After the path directed to the river stream going down.
When we arrived there we realized that it won’t be easy to find a spot once again. We had to check the river bank a bit and then the closest field and the bank was too seen from the road and path along the river and the field had bad incline and was partly filled with water. So as always we had to stretch further on the trail and seeing that there won’t be any better spots we stopped at some neglected farm route that was barriered by the gate and didn’t look frequently used. At least it was somewhat flattened even though no perfect flat terrain.
We found a little water stream nearby so we didn’t have to go back to the river. Then we had our little shower under the sky saying that we didn’t sweat as much as the first days thanks to the cooler wind and a bit easier trail. After we set up our tent, having a hard time deciding where goes feet and head and had to wait for the sun to come down a bit as it was too hot to cook still at 17pm. The spot was all open to the direct sun so it was very hot to sit inside. Then we finally could cook our dinner that was rice and buckwheat mix with mushrooms and dry tomatoes. After we had biscuits, chocolate and some plums for dessert. It was around 21pm when we went to sleep listening to cows and horses in the background.