Senda de los Cazadores, Ordesa

 

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Monte Perdido and Ordesa is a Spanish National Park

high in the Pyreenes on the Spanish/French border near Andorra.

It’s one of Spain’s most frequented parks

and in August the hordes make their way up the Ordesa Valley from Brotes or Torla,

picturesque towns nestled just south of the Bujaruelo Valley where it meets the Valley of Ordesa.

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From Torla in peak season the only way into the park

is to take the bus from outside the national park information office.

It runs all day but only until numbers reach 1800 visitors

when access to the park is closed.

One way to avoid the crowds

is the steep ascent of

Senda de los Cazadores (Path of the Hunters).

The Senda rises steeply up the southern side of the valley

on a series of switch backs that make their way up to a high viewing point through the pine trees.

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It’s a tough climb with glimpses of the massif of Mondarruego at 2775m

through the trees across the other side of the valley.

A breathless hour later the viewing platform looks down to where the walk started

including to the Estrecha de Rolando,

a break in the rock face that leads to France.

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The path continues along a contour several hundred metres above the valley floor,

hours later emerging from the trees

only then realising the towering rock formations

that the path falls in the shadow of.

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The amphitheatre like glacial valley that is

the Circo de Soasa

at the head of the Valley de Ordesa

sprinkled with yellow gourse

unfolds to the east with

the spectacular

Monte Perdido at 3355m the tallest of Las Tres Sorores (the Three Sisters)

perched above the The Horse’s Tail Waterfall

crashing down from the snowy summer peaks

Troops of hikers

sometimes in groups of twenty or more

head up to Goriz Refugio

another 500 meters up,

accessed to the south over a high rocky pass

or directly up the ropes and pins to the right of the waterfall.

Probably not a good place to visit in August,

the refugio has 72 beds and since it’s higher than 1800m,

camping is allowed, with permission, but only between dusk and dawn.

From the refugio it’s a few hours to Rolando

and a long day hike up to the top of Monte Perdido, crampons required.

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Looking down on the descent

the path looks easy, a good smooth track once we cross the river,

but it gets rockier, harder on the feet, and takes several hours

though along paths pf blooming flowers

on the edge of waterfalls and under beech and birch

it’s easy going if you have time,

a long day walk.

Start early.

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~ by Drifting, Rambling on September 5, 2016.

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