jueves, 5 de octubre de 2017

Tour o'clock.

Ten, eleven, twelve & midday: Las Peñas Diez, Once, Doce & Mediodía.

Last year we climbed them. This time, we'll circle them.  But I just know it's a mistake!   We should be doing the yearly tresmil (3000m peak) this weekend, because the weather's perfect. But Ricardo is needing something not too complicated.  It's been a very stressful August.  This circuit is perfect, because we already know at least half of it! But we don't want to be too light on ourselves, so it'll add up to 24 kilometres and a 1300m of height gain.  

Things start in "Camping Los Vives" the day before, and Rufus isn't very impressed with our tent-pitching effort.

After a relatively stress-free night under canvas, we finally set off at 7pm.
The "red-sky-in-the-morning" worries me a bit, but the guys don't know that English refrain.

We make a short stop. Yes, we could stay here over night if we had to. It's quite cosy.

After a few short-cuts along a long hour or so of track (pista), we finally get onto path (senda) and the route greatly improves from here on.  We're following the yellow and white markings of a "PR" - pequeño recorrido (petit randonee) - a so called "little route".
We pass the Collado de la Cruz (Col of the Cross, though there is no cross to be seen) and head towards the "Clock" peaks.

And soon we're closing in on the more mountainous terrain, though we won't get above 2300m today.

  (Above and below):  The terrain of today's walk seen from above, when we climbed the Ten, Eleven and Twelve o'clock peaks last year.  The orange dot in the photo below marks the Collado de las Garzas (the cranes' pass or col) which we cross this time.

And from the crest on the excursion a year ago. The orange dot marks the "Collado de la Cruz" that we pass today.

We've completed three quarters of the circuit and we just have to detour to see the "famous" Basa (lake) de la Mora, which is at this time of year painfully dry (or muddy).

🐶 Rufus is as tired as I am at the end of this circuit.  The last bit is horribly hot.  And then to the campsite to un-pitch the tent in the heat of the afternoon, and then drive the 2 hours home.

And remember how I said we were making a mistake...?  
Well, the following weekend should be our "holidays".  Our anual 5 or so days at the start of September. We haven't had any time away all summer.   So what happens?   The end-of-August weather suddenly turns into mid-October weather, with snow falling on the "tresmiles" and high winds in the mountains.  Not only that, Ricardo finds a course that starts right in the middle of our dates.  We'll just about manage 3 days in a row.  And bang goes our idea of a vivouac at 2200m followed by our tresmil-of-the-year.  Night temperatures could be as low as -6ºC at that altitude.

🌄 El Perdiguero (3222m) has eluded us twice already - really three times, because last year I didn't think we were ready to head off for the first time with our micro-tent and Rufus and camp in the wild.  The previous two times were some years ago and the less said about them the better. 

🌈But there may still be time this year.  (Famous Last Words).

Rufus makes himself comfortable while we debate which route to take to the Collado de las Garzas - the col of the cranes (winged-type).