Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Way - 6/23

On Saturday, I was reminded how much life is truly about the journey, rather than the destination (hence the title).

We went hiking in the Pyrenees Saturday afternoon, after a fantastic waffle breakfast on the patio, courtesy of Tony. Yum.

Helen and Raphael stayed behind at the house to rest so the three of us headed to the mountains.

The mountain we went to was about two hours away from Tony and Helen's house...and totally worth it. We drove all the way up one of the mountains until we were about 5000 feet up. My poor NC lungs weren't used to the altitude but we had found a trail that promised a lake, so we set off. If you've never been to the Pyranees, put it on your bucket list. It's always been easiest for me to sense God in the mountains...and these were no exception. I was reminded of this quote by Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights, as he's pumping up the team for a big game: "Let's touch God tonight, boys; let's touch God."

Oh boy, did we touch God. I don't know how to explain it, so I'll share some photos in an attempt to do it justice:

Our trail from the parking lot

Tony realized that he actually got cell reception, so we emailed Dad and Maylen a picture...from the top of the Pyranees.

The clouds started to move in

He has bread strapped to his back! I thought it was beyond cool.


This is where we started hiking.

After about an hour of hiking, we ran into some other hikers and Tony asked to see their map. When he and the other hiker conferred, we realized we were hiking up the "down" side of the trail to the lake. For the trail we'd wanted, we should have begun hiking further down the mountain, then come out at the higher altitude after the lake. At first, I was disappointed about not being on the right path/having used all this energy/missing the lake, whatever, but then I realized that I was surrounded by beautiful countryside and did it really matter where we were going? No. What mattered was the path we were on. We discussed going back, but decided that, since we'd already hiked about 1000 feet straight up (I only wish I was kidding about this), we'd hike up a little further, eat lunch and then head back down. 

A panorama view from the mid-way point
Going back down was interesting; it felt essentially like we would start tumbling straight on our faces at any second. There were many "jokes" made about just giving up and rolling down.
The little bulge in the road below? That's the parking lot.
This is the point where I stopped and shouted "no mas!". 
Eventually, we made it back down and decided to drive around the mountains a little bit. As we put all of our stuff in the car, a couple of guys also came down. One of them started "running" down the hill...making sheep noises. It was hilarious and absolutely made my day.

When we were driving around, we passed a field of cows. We'd thought we were hearing sheep earlier...turns out it was just the cowbells. This sound echoed all across the valley. It was marvelous.

On the way back down the mountains to go home, we stopped in a cute little village we'd seen earlier so I could walk around and take pictures. Just looking at these pictures three weeks later gives me the shivers. I was so, so, so in love with this village.

The center of town

We talked to the woman who had these plants outside her home and she said that the ferns come up naturally whenever the stream (below) runs.

The sign over the door says "mayor". Unsure if this was his house or office...or both.

The military were there for a training exercise. Easily 100-150 of them marched past us  and almost everyone paused their conversation to say hello.
It was an amazing day and I don't think I'll ever forget how incredibly beautiful those mountains were. It was like a scene straight out of The Sound of Music. Definitely looking forward to a return trip...

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1 comment:

  1. This is terrific, Briannen. You write so well, it's a pleasure to read. And I loved seeing the photo of you and your mom: two beautiful (inside and out) women!