I arrived already grumpy at dusk. The campground manager was totally surprised to see me and said there was only one other camper staying. He even had to turn on the hot water especially for me, but at least he made me a special price and even threw in a packet of biscuits for free. The shower was great but everything else made me even more grumpy. The wifi did not work and the condensation in my tent was a nightmare because the campground was right next to a river. I was so frustrated that I hardly slept and left at sunrise to catch the first bus to Olot. To make things worse the bus was full of teenage school kids who had probably never seen a smelly hiker before. They assumed that I don't speak Spanish and talked quite rudely about me - hiker harassment! I was glad to finally arrive in Olot where things turned out great now.
As a Lidl and Aldi junkie it was time for a shopping trip to one of my beloved discounters. Whenever I visit a Lidl in a new country I feel like Alice in Wonderland and this time they even had Christmas stuff. I ended up eating Spanish almond cake and German Christmas Stollen until I was almost sick! I even managed to find a second hand bookstore and buy an easy Spanish book. I'll be reading Rosamund Pilcher for the next days.... Not my usual choice of literature but it had to be easy Spanish and 1,150 pages for 2 € was a good deal. I then indulged into hourlong skype sessions with friends back home thanks to the good wifi in my hostal. I even found time to visit Olot's museums and discovered a provincial gem: the museum of saints. Olot is the centre of saint production in Spain (I am talking of statues and busts...) You can see all sorts of tacky saints and other religious paraphernalia plus there is a real workshop attached to the museum. I watched how glass eyes were inserted into baby Jesuses and Virgin Marys got their halos attached. Unfortunately no photos were allowed so the photo here shows an Olot statue in a church. The little town museum boasted a nativity scene that took up a whole room. I love these provincial towns with queer museums -especially if everything is within walking distance like in Olot.
|Extinct volcano in Garrotxa|
I was rewarded with one of the best campsites of this trip: I camped at 900 m next to an old hermitage on top of a mountain with an almost 360 degree view. I arrived at sunset and even cooked and ate dinner outside watching the lights in the valley below. It drizzled a bit overnight and when I woke up to a brilliant sunrise I saw that the Pyrenees in the distance were now snow covered for the first time. But it was a hot day and the sun melted the snow soon as I could watch from a distance as the day went on.
|View from the above campsite|