The lights below rose up slowly to meet us with the distinctive waving motion produced by the gentle roll of the plane.
The cabin lights were dimmed for our night landing, so the traffic could be seen clearly and I experienced a temporary loss of orientation as I watched cars driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.
But with the disorientation my heart also beat faster – we were flying in over Barcelona; the adventure had begun.
Beyond immigration we shouldered our packs and strolled out into the warm night air. The cloudless sky, though washed by a neon glow, showed a broad vista of stars and we basked in the promise of long sunny days walking forgotten trails through the high mountain wilderness.
A week later we crouched beneath the edge of a large boulder. Clouds rolled in never ending waves up the lower reaches of Vall de Mulleres before turning abruptly and soaring towards the Serra de la Gerbosa where they turned again to launch a chilling downpour over the upper valley. The view was awe inspiring as the shifting air currents generated ever-changing patterns in the mist. But our cramped shelter beneath the boulder was, quite literally, a shit-hole.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. We have a train to catch. I hope you'll come along for the ride...
Chapter index - skip ahead by following the links below:
Chapter 1: Pyrenean foothills, please; one way
Chapter 2: Lovers and fishermen
Chapter 3: Visions and vistas
Chapter 4: Shattered dreams
Chapter 5: The mountain gods
Chapter 6: Catching the drips
Chapter 7: Ghosts on the col
Chapter 8: Teeth of the storm
Chapter 9: Stealing the solitude
Chapter 10: Voulez vous!
Chapter 11: The yellow goblin
Montjuic Placa Espanya, Barcelona
Wikimedia photo, reproduced under Creative Commons licence
Hey, that's my photo!
I have a bunch of my own photos to illustrate this feature but they are all temporarily unavailable. So, as a stop-gap, I have used photos from various sources.
I tried to contact rights holders but, when you find the same photo on several websites, none of which cite their source, it becomes a little tricky.
If I've used your photo and you don't mind but would like an acknowledgement, just let me know.
Or, if you want me to remove it, just say so; I'll apologise and take it down right away. Contact form