Rambling to Lac d’Arrius, Lac Tort d’Arrius & Lac del Mar (Spain)

View from the path to Lac d’Arrius. Photo © Siena Anstis.
Lac d’Arrius. Photo © Siena Anstis.

This was my second glimpse of the unique world of the Spanish Pyrenees. Starting from the old Hospital de Vielha (at the end of the mouth of the tunnel that goes to Vielha), we hiked up to Lac d’Arrius/l’Estanh de Rius, Lac Tort d’Arrius/Estanh Tort de Rius and Lac de Mar/Estanh del Mar and back down to the Hospital (maps.me proving again to be a helpful navigator). While the mountains are not as imposing and dominating as the Mont Blanc massif, this was easily compensated by the stillness and quiet around these craggy, grey, endless, rocks. The route took about a half day, punctuated with breaks to eat, swim and gaze. The glacier lakes were particularly special to witness. They have a peculiar colour–perhaps that of being untouched and seemingly empty–and while the water is cold and the bottom of the lake awkward and silty, a swim is incomparable. Green lake, blue sky, gentle breeze, a shock of cold water, a still landscape. It seems hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else.