The Esera valley in the Spanish Pyrenees is a lovely place. I was there for two or three days some years ago and went back in 2013. When I first visited I hitched down the road to Camping Aneto then hitched back up again to Camping Los Banos. Hitching is peculiarly easy. There’s no obvious reason for this. I might reflect for example that nearby Benasque attracts large numbers of people of whom a good percentage are the requisite type: post hippy, communal, friendly, or kind. I have no idea if my idea is correct. In 2013 I gained a ride from a couple in an expensive black BMW who were staying at the spa mountain lodge Hospital de Benasque. They were spending more for one night than I was for an entire week. A few years ago I had a lift in a van from a group of youths with guitars and boots, and an elderly chap of about eighty years driving a noisy workhorse car with worn uncomfortable seats. On three occasions, including the BMW, my hosts drove me down to the campsite away from the road which entails a further few minutes or ten if you’re walking. I did have one bad moment last year waiting an hour when I was cold, hungry, tired, and desperate on a quiet Sunday evening. Generally however (not Sunday evening) it’s a good place for hitching. I had a lovely rest day when I slept long, sunbathed, and wandered the upper valley for photographs and wild flowers. The Esera river is beautiful and you can spend happy hours doing very little. I enjoyed the change of focus from navigating vast mountains then searching for flowers: which were plentiful. The area is also a base for big mountains, Aneto in particular, highest of all in the Pyrenees. You can’t see Aneto from the valley but you can gaze at neighbouring evocative peaks. The evening was warm but when the sun disappeared behind the peaks it became cold.


Pyrenees Mountain View: Esera Valley To Aneto

Thursday January 30, 2014