Hiking the Circular Ronda (Girona/Costa Brava) & a wonderful wedding

Sometimes I just don’t get around to writing up all the stuff up that’s been going on. My short trip to Spain in June 2017 falls into this category where I hiked the Circular Gavarres i Cami de Ronda (at 150km the first major hike after summitting Mt. Lhotse) and enjoyed the fantastic wedding of Marta & Tom near S’Agaro on the Costa Brava. Fun hike & top party!

Overview of the hike – 140km & 3,900m ascent: The circular hike of Gavarres & Cami de Ronda is some 140km long (plus my own 10km+ voluntary & involuntary detours) and typically hiked in 8 daily stages (vs. my ambition to do it in 3,5 days). The total ascent amounts to 3900m especially in the hills surrounding Girona vs. pretty flat stretches along Costa Brava. There is a great website for this hike which you can find here Circular Gavarres i Camí de Ronda (140km) .

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Chaotic arrival in Girona: I arrived late afternoon in Girona and immediately faced quite some drama, as I somehow managed to leave my wallet in the bus from the airport to the center … something I only found out once I wanted to pay for Girona accommodation. So back to the bus terminal and thankfully the bus driver saved it for me. Puhhh! It was pretty late by the time I got hold of some really good spanish food on the main plaza before I tried to sleep. But that also didn’t go quite as planned, as I four drunk youngsters decided to continue partying in the room unaware that I was sleeping. But that’s life I guess!

Stage one – Girona to Begur: I got up pretty early that day given I wanted to cover three daily stages in one go today. Today’s hike would take me counterclockwise the normal route and some 57km (1,450m ascent) from Girona through the Gavarres massif, els Angles, la Bisbal to Begure. It would take me 15hours (including to be fair plenty of breaks) to reach my destination. The scenery was great, the little villages on the way were quiet but inviting to stop for a meal/refreshment and the sun (32 degrees!) wasn’t too bad given plenty of tree cover. Loads of pro-independence guys in Catalonia! Still, by the time I arrived in Begur i could very well feel the mileage, but time was of the essence to make it to the wedding in S’Agaro on time.

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57km stage one

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altitude profile

Stage two – Begur to S’Agaro: My day started pretty early again. While I had ‘only’ 41km to cover today, I didn’t want to be late for the pre-wedding drinks in S’Agaro where many old & new faces were waiting. The route would lead me pretty much down all day down the costa brava coastline though still included a fair amount of ascent. My first stop after 13km (4h) was the lighthouse on Cabo de San Sebastian – a truly magnificent place to visit especially on a fine day as it turned out to be after a misty morning.

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From there I contiunued 28km (9h) to S’Agaro. It was pretty tempting to rest ever so often and enjoy the beach atmosphere, have a beer, look out to the sea and down into blue bays. Pretty amazing. My personal highlight was a little detour into a dead-end beach. I decided to climb up the hill at the end and ended up in a botanic garden. While I didn’t spend too much time there, at least it saved me paying for a ticket. Early evening I arrived in S’Agaro and joined the festivities. Thankfully the bag with my non-hiking clothing had arrived well!

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Grandious wedding party with high end cuisine: I felt pretty well rested on Saturday though my legs were a bit swollen after some 110km in just two days. But knowing Tom well, there would be plenty of ‘medication’ by way of drinks at his & Marta’s wedding. I know both from my time at KBW though i only found out that they were going out at the time when I announced my departure. I always thought they were just friends ;o) With two city people tying the knot, there were many well know faces from the industry about (Mark, Stimpy, Alister to name but a few) and the whole event turned out pretty entertaining. I have to laud the couple for picking a great countryside location, a short ceremony, hilarious wedding speeches and excellent food & wine (top-notch). Celebrations went on late nd included a late night dip in the pool with a group of Tom’s mates. All the best for both of you! Great couple.

Links to: Wedding dance of Tom & MartaTom’s speech | Best man speech (hilarious!)

Stage three – S’Agaro via Llagostera to Cassa de la Selva: After a decent amount of sleep and a big breakfast I got going late morning. My right leg was still swollen, but pain subsided once i was warmed up. The path was pretty mountainous and not always 100% well signposted. After some 9h i made the 33km. Clearly not in top form, but then I always knew that was going to be the case that morning ;o). The accomodation was superb at this airbnb with its nice gardens … check it out!

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Stage four – Back to Girona: My last day was the shortest at only 20km. So I took it well slow. More fields, small towns and great weather. Nice & crisp end to my journey.

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The below video kind of summarises the trip well ;o)

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