Marriage is all about compromise, right? So after getting to do exactly what I wanted to do last summer and putting Brew through a 46-day gauntlet of thankless, arduous, tasks, I magnanimously let him choose our 2012 summer adventure - as long as it included at least 500 miles of hiking ; )

My husband has come to the decision that we will spend several weeks backpacking, at a relaxed pace, on the  GR 11 in Spain. This “Gran Recorrido” travels 530 miles through the Spanish Pyrenees, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

Brew was leaning towards the Pyrenees, because we LOVE the mediterranean region, and we both wanted to see more of the area - beyond the Alps and Corsica where we spent our summer in 2010. There are many trails that wind through the Pyrenees, including the GR 10, Haute Rondonnee, the GR 11, and the famous Camino de Santiago that crosses over the mountain range.

In looking at our options, Brew decided to skip the GR 12, because we have already hiked in France. He opted out of the Haute Route because we would have to hike with an ice axe and crampons. And he delayed the Camino, because it is a great trail do to with a family or in the later stages of life. However, ultimately I think Brew’s stomach made up his mind. If he was at all uncertain about his decision, every bite of Spanish food that he put in his mouth at Asheville’s Curate restaurant, reinforced our GR 11 adventure.

My husband loves food, especially European food. We don’t take a stove when we hike in Europe because of plane regulations, but it doesn’t matter, there is enough cured meats, hard cheeses, crusty bread, and Nutella to keep us happy. There are also plentiful huts, villages, and family farms along the route that provide authentic regional cuisine to the hikers. Mmmm….

This experience will be a far cry from our record on the A.T. last summer, but it will be a nice change of pace (literally) and I have no doubt that it will be “full-filling” trip. Now all we have to do is make it to June 15th!!!!