Wednesday 5 August 2015
In the end the nice lady running the refuge found me a bed. In fact I don't think anyone had to sleep in the dining room, which does make you wonder just a bit about their arithmetic. My bed was in a room on the top floor with 12 beds, when I went to bed it was otherwise empty, but some time after 11 two Spanish families with kids turned up. They didn't turn the lights on, but there was so much noise, talking, waving torches around, loud shushing noises, cursing, dropping things etc etc that they might as well have. I have ear plugs.
I did like Restanca. There isn't really much difference between it and say, Respomuso, except for the people - but golly what a difference that makes. They were bang full, and told me they served 70 meals during the evening, but it didn't seem to faze them at all. I noticed after our sitting was finished that they served a second lot who had arrived late, still cheerful. Good stuff, not many refuges would do that.
I woke up about 6 and got dressed in the dark, everyone else still asleep. I might have accidentally waved a torch about a bit, and let the door slam rather loudly on the way out.. so careless of me. Hope it didn't wake them up.
Then set off for Salardu, about 7.30.. Most of the way follows the waymarked GR11, so navigation was not hard. There was quite a lot of picking your way over rocks etc., and some steep descent, but lower down it began to level out and went through some very pretty scenery, then woodland. The biggest problem was people, I saw literally hundreds of Spanish walkers and holidaymakers, evidently this is quite a tourist area. And it is August. I stopped and had a beer at a hotel called the Banhs de Tredos, a lovely place in the forest about two hours before salardu. I quite fancied staying there, but they were full up. It looked a bit pricy, too. So I carried on to Salardu, and am now esconced in the Hostal deth Pais, a comfortable small, cheap hotel. I will be here tomorrow too, a rest day is called for as I have now completed the third of the five HRP sections. The hotel will do some washing for me, and there is a supermercado around the corner.