aka just an ordinary day walk on the asphalt road
At five, the alarm clock takes us out of our “beds”, and once again we look like ghosts. But as the proverb says “early bird catches the worm”, and when you have to deal with a wing, it’s usually true It’s not difficult to still sleep on Krížna (mountain in Slovakia) when it’s already 7 am and the guys didn’t sleep much as it was blowing in the valley once again, I reckon 10-15 m/s, and since we don’t have the best spots for tents, they have to have their tent built on concrete. Therefore no pegs, the guys both play the role of weights, and anyway, the wind was so strong that they were almost taken away and xpyrienced some flying as well
In the village of Yésero, Marek joins me, supplied with water and some food, so together we rush up towards the summit, he’s of course much faster but at least he drives me. But it’s not only him… from west clouds are approaching, mainly middle clouds but it’s getting quite dark and quite fast, much faster than one would wish.
When we reach the ridge the situation is not what I hoped for. It’s blowing not from S,SW but rather from S, SE. Therefore I can’t soar the first beautiful part of the mountain, which would spare much of my power because I would fly with crosswind. So I continue to the summit, unpack quickly and fly. The slope supports me well enough, I fly maybe 4km. I pack the wing in a flash and run up the hill again, intentionally close to the forest because I forgot to take something against the rain, and it looks like it will start every minute. In 5 minutes I’m clamped against a pine trunk from the lee side and write few messages home. It’s good to be in touch with them after a while.
I managed to take off in the southern direction but I’m falling to the ground damn fast. It’s true that the Spanish land brims with beauty, the bushes are in bloom, the forests are nice and so on, but you know, I’d rather land in maybe six hours or so. I’m taken away by the valley wind a bit and I land in a village, pack my Avaxiáš sluggishly and have some pasta for breakfast while sitting in the car and listening to the rain clattering on the bonnet. Well, I wouldn’t want to be in Guissepe’s or Zlatko’s shoes, who decided to follow me. But since they were farther behind me they didn’t manage to do it in time and they’re now out in the rain on the ridge and they can be sure that they won’t be able to take off soon.
Under the bright moon providing some light, I walk sleepy and more tired than fresh after the night sleep, with bleeding nose, in the opposite direction to the original plan. I want to go towards a mountain that is more in the direction because it’s apparent that there won’t be much sun today and it will rain soon. 2,000-meter high, from maybe 1,700 m also grassy ridge looks promising and I hope that even today during a front I will be able fly at least something.
I didn’t have time to cool down and I go on, chased by another wave of rain, running to 2,000 m again. There’s a nice path made by cows and it has its benefits but mainly drawbacks. The benefit is that it’s straight and quite wide, but what is it for when my face is whipped by branches. Crouching like a German in a Verdun trench.
The summit is a bit shallow, and if it wasn’t enough, the wind has already turned to north. That’s not good because I have to head south, no matter what. The TP can be reached by two ways and I have no idea why, but I like the southern one more. Although it’s longer, it’s without serpentines and elevation.
I put on my raincoat by Zajo and let’s go tread the asphalt. I can’t say that my legs hurt that much because of mountain, but concrete or asphalt, that’s a killer. Knees, heels, toes, I can even feel stabbing in the middle of my sole… I walk really slowly. Even the trekking poles aren’t of much help to me as I wore out those rubber tips and although hitting the road with the hard metal tips relieves my knees, it kills my elbows and wrists.
Up to the town, which was built by the Romans, there is only a one-way road. I’m there at around five in the afternoon. A shortcut comes my way, but we didn’t think much ahead… we forgot to check the position of the bridge over troubled water that separates us from the TP Pena Montanesa. So I trudge along a dry and rocky riverbed and climb 200 m in vain just to find out that it was all useless. Few swear words blown by the wind and I run. I run because I’m so pissed off by the situation. Damn bridges! I run down to Aínsi, with knees completely fucked up as it was down the hill. Then run through the whole town, lost in the damn gravel. From the west a storm is approaching accompanied by dark so dark that Mordor together with Sauron and Mount Doom would be ashamed. I want to come as close as possible to the mountain because I need to get some good sleep for tomorrow’s flight. But, no, no! I can’t go any farther, I’m hungry, my legs hurt and it’s starting to rain. Just in the last minute I solve the situation with a random Spaniard, whom I met in the street, and I arrange “accommodation” on a sofa in his hall. He didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Spanish, but we managed to solve it somehow. I take cold shower and at ten I’m dead to the world.
The plan for tomorrow is to start out as soon as possible towards the mountain that has elevation 1,600 m from my current position, and to be honest I don’t believe that it can be climbed without gear. Then it would be ideal to take off around twelve and my goal is to reach TP5, Ceciré, which is on the French side of Pyrenees. I have to fly over the main ridge no matter what because the forecast says that the next days won’t be flyable at all, and the idea of walking 2,700 m mountains made of pure rock, without a trail and hidden in storm clouds… I’d rather not do that, since it will be slow and maybe also a bit dangerous.
Walked: around 47 km, climbed: 2,600 m (?), flown maybe 12 km.
NEXT DAY --->