Dealing with bureaucrats is probably the most frustrating of human endeavours. Our package, containing our replacement tent and stove has been in Barcelona for days but Spanish customs told us they would not release it until we pay 235 euros in duties, fees and taxes. After hours on the phone and sending them all kinds of documents, I had to sign a declaration that I would pay the money upon delivery, and then delivery would commence but would not be guaranteed by the time we were scheduled to leave Barcelona.
We decided to go hiking as planned and let the universe unfold as it would, hoping the package would get delivered prior to our departure. We packed the car and set off for Sierra de Guara and the village of Alquezar, a lovely medieval town about 3 hours northwest of Barcelona.
We rented an apartment for a few nights and went hiking in the spectacular canyon landscape around Alquezar and the nearby town of Rodellar. While there, I received an email from FedEx in response to my complaint about the problem with my package, and miraculously the package was delivered without any further charges. Funny that I had to send a complaint to FedEx in the United States before the company’s employees in Spain would process my package without any further delay or charges.
Anyway, we have a new tent and stove and will be ready for the next part of our journey. Meanwhile, we spent a few days hiking in Sierra de Guara with Alba and Gérard. Here are some photographs.
Gérard making breakfast.
Alba checking the weather from the cabin.
Restaurant decorations in Alquezar.
Sun going down on the Alquezar canyons.
Alba and Gérard in a canyon near Alquezar.
A good start to any morning.
It’s so small!
Dog at the monastery.
Frescoes at the Alquezar monastery.
Caves in the karst of Alquezar canyon.
Column detail at the Alquezar monastery.
Hiking into the Sierra de Guara.
Alquezar door knokker.
One last warm-up before heading out.
Jan taking a break.
The monastery at Alquezar at sunset.
Single file into the Sierra de Guara.
Paul’s new suede shoes.
Looking out from the Alquezar monastery.
Cave painting between 5,000 and 8,000 years old.
Climbing out of a canyon.
A walkway along the canyon wall.
Gérard at the site of where a mill used to stand on the river in the canyon.