Just a Pack | January 27th, 2020 | 14 Comments

Day 2 – Prullans to Baga through Parc Natural Cadi-Moixero

cami dels bons homes - Day 2 View from Refugi Cortals de I'lngla Cami dels Bons Homes

  • Starting Point: Prullans
  • Ending Point: Baga
  • Distance: 27 kilometers/ 16.5 miles
  • Altitude Gain/Loss (in meters): 1,450 ascent, 1,700 descent
  • Est. Time on Trail: 7 – 9 hours

The first stage of the path, running from Prullans to the town of Bellver de Cerdanya, is the least interesting of the entire Cami as it follows a busy road. The Cerdanya Resort can give you a lift to Bellver, and we recommend you make use of that service, as there is a LOT of walking to be done. Once in Bellver, the true hiking begins.

This day is probably the longest on the five day itinerary, and can be the most physically challenging. You will crest two mountain passes, and find yourself gaining and losing altitude quite frequently. The views along the trail here are stunning.

Tips: Leave early and make sure to bring a double lunch. There are two “refugi” shelters along the way where you can buy prepared food, water, and even beer, but they are only open during high season.

The Hike – Prullans to Baga on the Cami dels Bons Homes

The Cami dels Bons Homes from Bellver de Cerdanya to Baga

We were told that day’s hike from Bellver de Cerdanya to Baga would be challenging, possibly more so than any other section of the trail because of the altitude gain and loss, and the distance. The beginning of the trail, with its pleasant little meadow perched atop a gentle hill covered in wild flowers, gave no hint of how difficult or exciting that day’s hike would be.

Leaving Bellver we entered the Parc Natural Cadi-Moixero. The next several hours included relatively steep ascents and descents as we crossed two mountain passes.

The trail snaked up, in and out of forest and wood, and we frequently encountered wide open views of hills and valleys carpeted with a variety of brush, trees, bushes, and grass. Shades of green and brown coated nearly everything and randomly scattered bursts of bright yellow and white from the wildflowers that dotted the trail appeared frequently.

Puffy white clouds suspended in the bright blue sky above us and intense sun rays pressed down on the exposed sections of the trail. From the first “refugi” or shelter we encountered, Refugi dels Cortals d’Ingla, we were gifted impressive views of snow capped mountains to the north, back in the direction of Prullans.

Tip: After you pass the first shelter take care to look out for the familiar GR 107 white and red trail markings, as they can be a little hard to find.

We once again gained altitude until we emerged into an open meadow at the first mountain pass of the day. From there it was a downhill hike for a few kilometers through a darkened forest before starting another gradual ascent. We were once again rewarded with majestic mountains appearing to our left, so close we could almost touch them.

The trail runs right into the small town of Baga, where we had a gloriously cold beer and wiped the sweat from our brow. Don’t worry, “tomorrow will be easier” we said, clinking beer mugs together.

La fageda d'Escriu (Escriu Beech Forest) cami dels bons homes

This section of the trail includes a beautiful beech forest. Our first glimpse of the La fageda d’Escriu (which means Escriu Beech Forest in Catalan) stopped us in our tracks.

A wall of pale, smooth trunks topped with light green foliage stood tall and straight like silent soldiers. The air was cool and moist, light from the sun peered through radiantly. The atmosphere was magical and dense, the setting for a fantasy novel filled with elves and fairies. We admired the surroundings for several minutes before we could bear to move on.

The Cami dels Bons Homes from Bellver de Cerdanya to Baga

In addition to the myriad of birds and butterflies we saw nearly every day we hiked the Cami dels Bons Homes, we also encountered a wild boar on this day.

It was a thrilling, intense, and somewhat frightening experience! Our encounter is not typical, as boars tend to avoid the path, and human contact in general. We have never run away (or tactically retreated, as Michael would prefer to view our actions) from a pig until that day. But that’s is a story for another article.

There are two refuges, Refugi Cortals de I’lngla and Refugi de Sant Jordi, on this portion of the trail. Each offers overnight accommodations, a place to stop and rest, have a picnic, or buy prepared food and drink. However they are only open during high season.

Where to Stay Near Baga, Spain

moli del casa spain

This portion of the trail ends in Baga, a medieval village with a lovely town square. Molí del Casó is a beautiful restored mill a few kilometers from Baga.

It uses solar energy, has organic gardens with herbs and produce, and offers a peaceful and relaxing setting to rest in. Owner and Chef, Conchita, prepares cuisine made with seasonal products from their organic garden and she can accommodate special menus for vegans, vegetarians, people with celiac disease, or other dietary requirements.

Five Course Vegan Meal at Molí del Casó

That night we dined on an incredible five course vegan feast prepared by Conchita that included a fresh organic salad, tofu towers with soy sauce and chives, couscous with vegetables and lentils, a vegetable fritter with spring onions, and ripe and juicy wild berries for dessert.

Though the setting was casual and relaxed, the meal could have been prepared at a five star restaurant. We enjoyed our meal over discussion about the history and beliefs of the Cathars and the trail they took to escape persecution that we would continue to follow the next day.

more info

Next is a breakdown of Day 3 of our hike on the Cami dels Bons Homes!

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Comments

14 thoughts on “Cami dels Bons Homes – 5 Day Pyrenees Hiking Adventure

  1. Great article!! I’m in Spain now, learning a lot about its history but unfortunately won’t be doing this hike this time around. But next time, for sure!!

    1. Thanks Goska! Where in Spain are you?
      I hope you do get to hike the Cami dels Bons Homes, it was one of the best experiences we’ve had in our last 16 months of travel!

  2. I’m so impressed that you did this hike and it looks as if you had fabulous weather. What a fascinating history. Did you see many other hikers on the trail?

    1. Hi Carol! Thank you! Yes, we got really lucky with the weather!

      We only saw one or two other hikers on the trail. It is an interesting experience because you are completely immersed in nature without another soul around for most of the time. It gave me the opportunity to do a lot of thinking and observing. Those five days were incredible.

  3. HI Randi! I just came across of your article. We are planning to do the hike early this June but were wondering if one needs to book all accommodations ahead of time. Also, does one need to be prepared to carry much food or are there reliable sources of food on the path? From your article, it seems so.

    1. Hi Tanya, I’m really happy you are doing this hike. It is an amazing experience and can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

      Regarding accommodations, I’d suggest that you book in advance. There are a few days that are strenuous and looking for a hostel/hotel is probably the last thing you’ll want to do. Also, I’m not sure if you’re planning on following the exact route we did, but if you book in advance you can get advice from each hostel/hotel to better map out your route. Additionally, you can reach out to the Cami dels Bons Homes Regulatory Counsel for guidance. They are very helpful! Let them know we recommended them. 🙂

      As for food, I didn’t bring a thing with me before arriving. The Regulatory Counsel was amazing at communicating with each of the hotels/hostels to accommodate my dietary requirements, and there was always something for Michael to eat. Each day the hotel/hostel we were staying at packed a lunch for us, and we ate breakfast/dinner on-site. Once you’re on the trail each day, there are very few places, if any on some sections, to get food. So, you do need to bring lunch/snacks each day.

      I hope that helps, feel free to send more questions over and have an amazing time.

      1. Dear Randi, thank you so much for your extremely helpful response! It looks like The Regulatory Counsel is a very helpful place indeed. We would like to use their services, but it appears they are only available in Spanish. Can we write to them in English? We speak French but not Spanish. And how do they work? If we give them our dates and itinerary, will they be able to help us with booking our accommodations? what other help were you able to get from them? Thank you for your help! Tanya

      2. Dear Randi, many thanks for your very helpful reply! Your pictures and description of the hike made us even more excited about the hike. If you don’t mind, I have a few more questions. The Regulatory Counsel appears like a very helpful place indeed, but they appear to be in Spanish only. Is it possible to write to them in English? What kind of services/support do they provide? Can we give them our itinerary and ask their help with booking accommodations?
        Tanya

      3. Hi Tanya,

        We communicated with them in English. They are the same as a tourism board for the area. You can request information from them about the area and hiking. Regarding accommodations, they may be able to make suggestions on where to stay or you can see the individual articles (Day 1, Day 2, etc.) where we give details about where we stayed and booking links.

        I hope this info is helpful. All the best.

  4. Very good article indeed, both interesting and informative.

    We have a great range of holiday properties in Catalonia and many of our clients like to do walks in the hills and mountains (we even have a group of geologists coming out to survey some mountain areas this summer) so we can help anyone planning a trip wanting somewhere with a private pool to stay.

    All the best

    Peter Horrocks – Villas du Monde

  5. What a great hike and summary! I was wondering if you could let me know how you got yourselves to the starting town, Prullans. Did you rent a car and leave it there, and then get a ride back to it after the 5 days? I’ll be getting there from Barcelona so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    Sara

    1. HI Sara, glad you enjoyed the summary. We arrived in Prullans by train from Barcelona. At the end of the hike we, in the last town, we too a bus back to BCN. When will you be going?

  6. Hi Randi! What a great read, really informative! I’m looking to do part of this at the end of May this year and was wondering if you could lend some answers on a few questions!
    – How scarce is the water out there? Were the natural water sources safe to fill up from if using a water purifier and if not, were there any water dispensers along the route besides the towns?
    – How successful would you say your experience was of resupplying in each town food wise? If you were to hike in the area again would you considering carrying your own food instead (freeze dried meals etc).
    – How were the mosquitos/bugs? Especially at night!
    – Were there any parts that proved surprisingly tricky for you? For instance, navigation (lack of signs/clear trail)/finding the trail to and from towns/getting to the trail from Barcelona/dealing with people in towns?

    Thanks in advance!

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