Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido (E)


Torla, Spain

Isn’t this info point sweet with its awning?

Our hike from our Camping Rio Ará to Pradera, P.N. Ordesa

Torla, Spain

22/08/2011: Biescas - Torla (1300 m) (Spain): 28 km

After the heat from yesterday we were very surprised this morning to wake up and have clouds in the sky -which was very pleasant. We drove along the Rio Ará valley to Torla which is the gate to the Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido, because during summer months the access to the main parking lot can only be done by shuttle bus. It runs every 1/4 of an hour up to 22h and costs 3 € per ride. We settled at the Camping Rio de Ará and walked the GR 12 along the river up to the parking lot where the shuttle bus leaves you in the park. This was a hike of 2 hours (8,3 km, 330 m elevation). Tomorrow we intend to do the long hike up to the 3 cascades. We took the bus back into Torla and had a stroll with grocery shopping at a Spar that luckily already opened at 16h instead of all other shops that open at 17h in the afternoon. Back home we had a BBQ on our camping site (N 42º 37.896’ W 0º 06.462’)

23/08/2011: Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido, Spain

We got up early today to catch the bus at 8h00 into the Park. Hike up the Sendero de los Cazadores to Mirador de Calcilarruego, then the Faja de Pelay until Circo de Soaso with the Cascades of Cola de Caballo (horse’s Tail) waterfall. Then back to the Pradera de Ordesa where the bus stops along many other cascades. A long walk of aprox. 25 km, 650 m elevation, 8,5 hours. We had beautiful weather because we had all our rain and cold gear with us (the forecast was not so good). Overnight at the Camping Rio Ará.

24/08/2011: Torla - Aínsa - Bielsa (1007 m), Spain: 82 km

After one machine of laundry (6€) we left the campground (around 16,50 € per night without electricity) and drove to Aínsa through the impressive Janovás valley and passed by the ghost town of Janovás. In Aínsa we had lunch at the Restaurant-Bodegón de Mallacán on the Plaza Mayor (not very exciting food, 44€). We also visited the Geopark Museum (free and very interesting, located in the castle tower, with audio explanations in English). We saw at least 100 vultures flying over the village. We discovered a Schlecker nearby our parking and did some shopping. It was so hot that we decided to continue our way up the hills, and we landed in Bielsa. We found a nice, not very quiet, parking lot close to the village centre. (N 42º38.176’ W 0º12.900’)

25/08/2011: Bielsa - Pineta Valley (1007 m), Spain: 14 km

On our drive into the Pineta Valley we could already see parts of the glacier of Monte Perdido which would see from close on our (strenuous) hike “Camino de Marboré” (7 hours, 1200 m elevation). We were happy to be able to stay here overnight, i.e. on a side part of the parking lot. The entrance fee into the parking lot was 1,50€; overnighting is forbidden but there were a few campers that had obviously been there overnight, so we decided to do so too. This evening we went very early to bed as we, or better Julia, were exhausted. (N 42º 40.630’ W 0º 05.050’)

26/08/2011: Pineta Valley/Bielsa Parador, Spain - Arreau, France (700m): 65 km

Julia didn’t get up until late and we were very lazy, especially as the weather was not good. At 17h we finally left and drove through the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel to Arreau in France. A short stroll through the town with its wild waters closed the programme of the day. Overnight on the motor caravan parking place (2€). N 42º 54.435’ E 0º 21.359’

Our hike in the Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido

Mirador de Calcilarruego (after a steep ascent of 650 m)

Circo de Soaso

Monte Perdido 3355 m

There are still glaciers here!

Valle de Ordesa

Cascada Cola de Caballo and several other waterfalls for 8,5 kilometers


Old comunal winepress

Glacier on the north face of the Monte Perdido

Our path seen from above!

That is how we spent the night!