Lessons learned and trip summary
  1. Typical weather on the northern hillside – fog and humidity in the morning, clear skies and sun in the afternoon
  2. Be prepared for itching pinches/rash caused by unknown Spanish bitchos (insects)
  3. Pine trees do not fall! (that much…)

„No wind is blowing, no wind is blowing, no wind is blowing….“ That was my mantra for tonight. This time, though, my wish did not come true….All night long, a strong wind has been shaking ragefully with our tent. I’m scared of falling trees and the fact that we were sleeping under two, made me quite nervous. In short, I did not sleep at all! In addition, every night for the last 2 nights, I have been scratching my whole itching body. My legs, butt and now even arms and belly are full of pinches of unknown origin. And it’s getting worse. So during this sleepless night I have been trying to figure out (UTFG) what it is that’s bothering me (fleas?, bedbugs? or mange?) Just awesome!

The morning is really ugly – thick fog, drizzle, cold…We have absolutely no desire to get out of the tent. I actually have no desire to do anything at all (except for sleeping). But we will have to move. I prepare my morning coffee in the vestibule of the tent and make a breakfast in the tent. When I am more or less mentally prepared, I get out and start packing the wet tent (again). We start the hike at around 10:15 am, which is probably our latest time ever.

The morning stage is all about descending and so we soon descend from the fog. The walk is harsh today. My ankle hurts and I feel dizzy. I blame it on lack of sleep. Furthermore, I’m constantly hungry and so I have a second breakfast (tortilla with cheese and chorizo) when we stop to fill the water. I blame the hunger on lack of sleep as well.

Around midday the sun is shining in full swing again and breath-taking views of the Sierra Nevada open up in front of us. We stop for lunch at a sunny meadow with nice valley view at around 1,900 m.a.s.l. During the lunch I suddenly become furious. Everything in that moment is simply wrong! After my lighter on the stove breaks down, everything goes rather fast. Cheese tortellini flying all over the place and swearwords in the air. I blame it on lack of sleep…..and on Thomas of course. Meanwhile, Thomas is calling tranquilly with his sister. When I become sane again, I pick up all the tortellini from the ground. They are all over the place. Luckily for me, they were still uncooked when I started tossing them around. I finish the lunch preparation and in 20 minutes I have to laugh at myself. Thomas joins me immediately sneering at me with apparent pleasure…OK, I think I deserve this.

Ideally we would like to reach another info point today (Punto de Información LA RAGUA – approx. 20 km). But something tells me that we won’t make it. It’s not going well today, I’m plodding wearily. Despite our awfully slow pace, we manage to scare up another two wild goats. As soon as she spots us, mummy goat jumps down the steep slope. The kid goat follows her. I stand there on the edge of the precipice with my heart in my throat. I lean over trying to catch any sign of a movement down there. Yes! Ufff…seems like they’re alright. That seemed really dangerous!

After 14th kilometres, we begin to search for a camping spot for tonight. My ankle hurts and I’m tired I don’t want to take another single step. Just want to lay down and rest. Finding a nice spot with a view is difficult today. A small, slightly sloping glade with cow’s poop will have to do. We set up a tent and I suddenly decide to search and peen all my things. If I’m carrying a bloodthirsty vermin which keeps me from sleeping at the night, I’m determined to find it and get rid of it. I’m taking an item by item out of the backpack, peening and cleaning each and every tiny crumb, dirt, each mote from every single seam and flexure. And guess what I have found? ….NOTHING! No traces of any insects, any parasites. So what the hell is attacking me at night? And why only at night? Or is it just my mind playing tricks on me? No…the pinches are real. Maybe I managed to shake it off without even knowing about it. We go to sleep early tonight with hopes for a better rest.


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