The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- thursday 10 september 2015 -
Entering Andorra

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(click to open this trip in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps; click right on this link to download gpx-version

Summary: part of a 10-days trip to the Pyrenees, mainly meant as a reconnaissance for the GRPdesBf. This day is one of a week of backpacking from Guzet-Neige to Puigcerdą, traversing Andorra.
Today: crossing the Port de Rat and entering Andorra.

Weather: rainy until noon, then cloudy, in Andorra: cold.
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds: see the cartography-page

The gps-track has not been manually  corrected which explains the inaccuracy and misalignment at some points.

- 16,6 km
- max H = 2534m
- elevation gain: 711m
- time: 7:14h

Started at 10:15, break 15:15 - 15:45, finish at 17:30 = 6:45h net walking time
According to Gps-Track-Analyse

- distance : 17.2 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1313m
- cum. elevation loss : 1920m
- total elevation: 3232m

- altitude maxi : 2543m
- altitude mini : 1715m
- altitude average : 2046m
My starting point, where I pitched my tent yesterday.
At the E-point of the lake, I descend E-wards,
following yellow waymarks and NOT the red/white waymarks (note the red/white cross on this rock).
Thus descending (in parts quite steeply)
to the bottom of the valley (which takes 1.45h from my bivouac-spot)
crossing the streams towards the cabin.

From the cabin the red/white trail climbs uphill, making a shortcut of the lacelets of the dirtroad.
The climb to Port de Rat will take you approximatly 2 hours.
This is one of the lacelets to cross, note the red/white waymarks.
I have crossed the last lacelet and at this spot you have to cross the  stream
as shown by the waymarks
Now I'm getting on higher terrain
and arriving at a point where the trail goes left but another trail  goes straight on, 'blocked' by this red/white cross.
However, if you continue on the 'blocked' path, you will soon climb to a flatter area with a  small lake. About 75m W of this lake is a cabin
with this part reserved for hikers.
I return to the red/white trail and continue to
Port the Rat
Port de Rat
Port de Rat
Looking into Andorra, the trail descends along the hillside to the tarmac road

which zigzags further to a restaurant. (from Port de Rat to the restaurant takes 0.45h). It's easier to go in a straight line to the restaurant, shortcutting the lacelets.

Lunch-break in the restaurant. It's cold and windy in Andorra.

This map shows that you could still continue on red/white trails (purple on this map) to the E.
But I have chosen for my GRPdesBF-route a more easy and faster variant, using tarmac roads and ski-slopes.
From the restaurant, first E along the tarmac road.

Just beyond the first bend of the road,
I leave the road and descend steeply on this ski-slope
until this artificial pool
and then continuing my descent on the ski-slope
towards the tarmac road.

There you should turn left on the road (going NE) and follow the road for 150m to a sharp bend.
In this case I can't reach the road directly because of construction works.

But via this tunnel and a hotel,
I get at the tarmac road and to this point (sharp bend of the road) where I leave the main tarmac road and take this quiet minor road.
Somewhere along this minor road, the red/white trails - mentioned above - will join the road
There's a simple cabin
along this road but there seems no water nearby.
Finally the minor road bends towards this bridge.

Now you have
to go under the bridge on this trail
which becomes a dirtroad at the other side of the bridge,
bringing you to this open field (to the right is a picnic area)
and further on back to the main tarmac road. At that junction, there's this source.
I return to the picnic-area to camp for the night.
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