We — a handsome sixpack — started our hike at the Sant Marti Centelles train station. Our plans were rather vague. Without explicit negotiations we all seemed to be heading for an easy four hour hike with ruins and donkeys. To be clear, we did no plan to hike with donkeys. We just fancied meeting some along the road. Maybe biting grass — the donkeys that is — in the vicinity of some ruins of an old church or a monastery. Anyways.
With the warm August sun shining over our heads, we followed the GR5 long distance path to the south from Sant Marti de Centelles. We went past Sant Pere de Valldeneu and inched ourselves up the steep slopes of the Cingles de Bertí mountain ridge — up to Puig Fred.
After a quick lunch at Puig Fred it was time to decide how to continue. Sofar we had not seen any donkeys so we decided to follow the PR C33 path to Sant Pere de Bertí. Surely there would be some donkey spotting occasions on the way. On we trotted. No donkeys were on our way but we came across some pretty ruins before we reached Sant Pere de Bertí.
At Sant Pere de Bertí we were again faced with the need to make a decision about where to head next. As we were running low on water we tried to plan the hike in such a way as to maximize the chance of passing some place where water could be obtained. After a rigorous consultation with a map, we decided to continue to follow PR C33 and head toward Santuari de Puiggraciós. Apart from being a sanctuary there was a telegraph-something next door. That was surely a recipe for water, no?
On we went. Pretty soon we realized that we were not following the PR C33 route anymore. But as we were a an adventurous lot we pulled out our maps, determined our location and decided to continue along the current path since the right path was just around the corner — or two.
Time passed. Water disappeared down our throats and reappeared at various places on the surface of our skin. We reached a dead end at the edge of a cliff. We consulted the map and came up with new theories about our whereabouts. Some were on the map. Some were off the map. We chose another path, backtracked, chose yet another path. The right path was just around the corner — or two.
We ran out of water. Along with the water went the adventurous spirit. We conceded that — despite some interesting theories — we had no idea where we were. We were not as young as we were at the start of the hike. It was time to become responsible adults and backtrack to Sant Pere de Bertí.
Back at Sant Pere de Bertí we knocked on the door of a country house and asked the owners if they could spare some water and advice about the shortest route to the next train station. Both requests were granted by the — presumably — father and son who came to the door.
With water in our bottles and directions in our heads we continued our hike along GR5 with destination Figaró. For the next couple of hours we made our way down to Figaró. We reached the town shortly after seven. The four hour hike with ruins and donkeys had lasted for eight hours and without donkeys. Tired but happy we took the train back to Barcelona after a short hydration stop at a bar in Figaró.