Tag Archives: adventure

noun – an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
verb – engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.

GR11 Adventure – Day 10 R&R time to reflect

Wild camp on top of the world - GR11 Cuello Petraficha

The travelling saltygardener is on a true adventure of a different, much less watery kind. This is an adventure over the beautiful Pyrenees mountains which join the two great oceans of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. We have around 6 weeks to hike as much as possible of the 840km route through the Spanish Pyrenees known as the GR11 – or in Spain the travesia pirenaica.

I wanted to document some of my experience as all the blogs I found seem to be written by seasoned hikers or pseudo mountain goats set to break the record time.  I am not in any race it is our personal annual challenge. Day 1 at sea level alongside the Atlantic ocean I was not at all prepared for this journey. Sure, I had a backpack filled with hiking goodies and #thebesthusbandintheworld who is an experienced mountaineer so there was no danger involved. We’d even had a trial run and pitched the tent in a Swedish apartment 🙂  What I mean is I live a fairly sedentary life which largely involves lounging in a cockpit trying to keep cool, eating a lot of yummy asian fried food and drinking our way through the latest duty free hoard. On the other hand without transport other than our dinghy we explore everywhere on foot and recently covered some jungle day-hikes on Tioman Island. I also swim quite a bit and have almost developed gills from snorkelling yet still manage to hover around 15kg over the top end of what those charts deem ‘normal’. I take no medications and am physically very healthy but in no way fit. I’m usually the one who groans loudest when the up escalator in the shopping mall isn’t working.

The GR11 hiking route from sea to sea

In 8 walking days we have covered 140km and started to ascend some of the introductory smaller peaks and passes around 1200m – the highest so far was yesterday and at 1495m was around the same height as Ben Nevis!

This recap is from our Day 10 and not any suggested GR11 itinerary. A well earned R&R day in a campsite where I have chance to reflect on the journey so far. This is the most demanding adventure I have under-taken and I’ve come a long way in distance, physically and emotionally and it is still a huge roller coaster.  I hope to post in more detail if connectivity allows, but no doubt Facebook will be there even if the Internet isn’t. Please feel free to follow along via our Sailing with Tiki page.

To start we eased in Days 1&2 with some long flat sections to get used to wearing 12-14kg on our backs and walking extended distances. Since then there have been higher highs, longer days and lower lows. The walking is good, the climbs are tough. Lots of breather stops but fitness is improving leaps and bounds and I’m starting to accept that I can really do this.

We have a little evening routine where Captain Crackers reads ahead and plans the daily route,  schedules in the rest stops and breaks the stage down. This is essential for me as after 2-3 hour stints I’m starting to sway, a little fatigued, I need some rest. Rest stops involve backpacks off, shoes and socks off to cool down and a good stretch of all these muscles. My favourite stretch is the downward dog with those amazing mountain views upside down! Also a refueling snack of cheese,  baguette and juicy summer stone fruits which are simply divine. After a gorgeous peach/nectarine/apricot I can just feel the fructose filling me with energy for the next section.

But these are just the physical practicalities. The real challenge comes when the hill gets really tough, or the slippery downward limestone terrain terrifies me. Then I need to dig a whole lot deeper than any peach can provide.  That’s when I bring out my calvary – all the family and friends supporting us in this adventure.  I place them in a line alongside me. Can you hear it guys? I’m calling on you regularly!

It’s this ‘something altogether different than muscles’ that carries me up to the top to look at these breathtakingly stunning views, so really just wanted to say thanks for being here – all of you xxx


Laughter really is the best medicine

Oh boy I love it when I get to have a good giggle. A while ago I read a blog post that tickled so much it continues to make me grin if I mentally picture the post even now. To me that is priceless and it was delivered free of charge straight to my navigation station laptop 🙂  
I love that about reading new blogs which I have been doing a LOT of since joining the Blogging101 course.  My interests were always diverse but I never thought to add randomness to my reading.  I now get updates not only from sailing blogs but from travellers, writers, comedians, cooks, food bloggersrunners, artists, students, retirees and many more.  This role call looks a lot like the one on my recent Fixing Bloggers Block post of who I wanted to follow me, it really is interesting that it is me following them!  I’ve highlighted via link to only a few as the list of awesome is rather long and invite you to go and explore.
The one that tickled? 5 Yoga poses for sailors – especially good for beginners to improve balance. My goal is to refine the Warrior 3 or ‘wind indicator’ as my signature anchoring signal for “the freaking reef is just there!” and of coarse pictures of said signal will need to follow but I haven’t had the energy for practising that one yet. On my hiking adventure the Downward Dog aka ‘fendering the boat’ gives both amazing upside down mountain views and an awesome leg stretch, ‘the chair’ is an essential requirement of wild camping and to re quote Dawn “nuff said” and ‘the corpse’ pretty much sums me up on every rest stop. So far I’m doing great!