I had my first cups of coffee for several days at the Pineta Refugio, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. I was feeling a bit jaded after last night's super-steep 1200 metre descent and glacial river wade, so decided on a slightly easier morning by hiking down the valley alongside the river, instead of climbing 800 metres up the real GR11. It was a slight cheat, but I needed to make up a bit of time if I was to stand any chance of reaching Espot in 3 days time to meet Muffy and Dave.
The trail down the Balle Berde was quiet, tranquil and deserted, apart for a few teenage summer camps in the woods. It didn't take too long to arrive at Bielsa, where I took a break and asked some advice at the information centre. They advised walking straight up the main road to Parzan to re-join the GR11.
After Parzan it was getting pretty warm for the long climb on pista up to the Ordizeto hydro-electric station and then the Collato Chistau 2326m. Thankfully the descent on the far side was pretty straightforward, although the final section through to Refugio de Biadós dragged on a bit.
I arrived fairly early to a completely mobbed looking refugio, but thankfully they had a bed and a warm shower. I spent the evening meal dining in good company with a French couple doing the GR11 in reverse (starting at the Mediterranean), and a Belgian guy on his own attempting the HRP (Haute Route Pyrenean).
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