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Vall Fosca Downhill weekend. Pyrenees Spain. (October 10th till 12th 2003)

After skating with me in a very flat Dutch landscape, Carlos invited me to join the Barcelona skaters on their trip to Vall Fosca, a beautiful valley in the Pyrenees, the mountains on the border of  Spain and France. Of course this offer was far to tempting to refuse, so I flew to Spain.

From Barcelona it was a 300km car drive. On our way to the valley we stopped twice to do some shopping. Buying food for a 70 persons barbeque is quite a job. In the dark we arrived at the house we rented. Since I've never been in the Pyrenees before, it would be a complete surprise what the valley looked like, next morning.

At the house the first ones that had arrived, already had the fireplace burning. Not a bad idea because at nights mountain air is cold. During the evening the skaters would poor in one after the other. All the tables and chairs were removed and the stereo was put in place, so we could dance. Salsa classes were given by Xavier. Others put on their skates for dancing. The party was on until 3:00 am. :-)

Saturday morning, we enjoyed breakfast in the chilly mountian air. Meanwhile a few were driving some of the cars to the bottom of the valley, the end point of the downhill. Upon their return we took the remaining cars and headed up 5km more, to the start of the downhill. after strapping on our skates we started the 17km downhill ride. At first a bit cold, but soon the sun filled the magnificent valley and we could take of our sweaters.

The downhill was not steep, so everybody was able to join the skate down, each one at their own pace. However, speeds of up to 60km/h could easily be obtained, so I did :-)). A few intermediate stops allowed us to regroup, so the pack would strech to far. At the front one car would signal upcoming traffic, but since it's a dead ended valley, not much trafic bothered us.

At the bottom of the valley everybody waited for the cars to be fetched, but I couldn't resist a nice work out and skated the same way back up, and went even further up the valley beyond the village of Espui. A Nice 20km of climbing :-)

Back at the house we had a delicous barbeque. Sitting, eating, drinking and relaxing outside in the sun. In the afternoon everybody boarded the cars and we set off to a beautiful lake high up the mountain. After a bit of relaxing, eight skaters dared to do the dangerous 5km downhill. It had perfectly smooth asphalt, but was steep, sharp curves and narrow. Also the steep edge was near. We all survived, only one skater crashed.

Of course at night we partied till deep into the night again. Sunday was a bit cloudy. We didn't skate but did a splendid hiking trip all the way up the mountains.

A lot of thanks to my Spanish friends for having a wonderfull weekend together :-)))

MOVIE: Party at the house. 37 sec. (4,4MB)
MOVIE: 17km downhill on Saturday. 4min.27 (32MB)
MOVIE: Relaxing and BBQ at the house. 29 sec. (3,5MB)
MOVIE: 5km hard downhill. 1min.37 (11,5MB)

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Buying meat for 70 persons.
One second before closing time,...
..Carlos and Jordi bought almost the whole bakery.
All tables removed for the salsa lessons.
Laura and Emilo.
Dancing, dancing...
Everybody was having a good time.
Frank and Amalia.
Juan, Rosť and Albert.
Dutch Kim and Jeroen rollerdancing.
Carlos dancing on inline-skates.
Group dancing.
The big bedroom.
The kitchen early in the morning.
A chilly outdoor breakfast.
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Peter Nikkel.