At the agreed time, towards 10 o’clock on March 26th 2006, new members of the expedition prepared to do the crossing from Riu Cabó to Noves de Segre along a similar itinerary to the one completed on the 29th and 30th of November 1937 by the expedition in which saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer took part, on his way to Andorra and guided by Josep Cirera.

It was interesting that Amadeu Rocamora, his wife Helena Marti and two of their children, Roger and Jordi, took part in the expedition. Amadeu is a relative of those of Juncàs. The relation comes from the grandmothers. Indeed, the grandmother of Amadeu was Concepció Oste Argerich, sister of Maria Oste Argerich, housekeeper of Juncàs and mother of Josep Boix Oste, who at the moment lives in the “Casa del Pont” (House of Bridge), in Peramola, and who attended the Mass celebrated by saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer at Espluga de les Vaques on the morning of November 28th of 1937, shortly before embarking on the journey to Andorra.

Concepció Oste married Josep Ramonet i Espar, who was the heir of Can Armenter de Organyà. Josep Ramonet was a friend of the guide Josep Cirera, to whom he provides contacts that contributed to the success of their expeditions, among them the one that brought saint Josemaría and his companions to Andorra.

According to the information of Amadeu Rocamora, Josep Ramonet also had to flee to the so called “national zone”. He did it taking part in an expedition that departed Juncàs on May 15th 1938, and that was the same route saint Josemaría took to Ares, to go later on towards Gerri de la Sal, where they arrived on May 20th after crossing the front line.

Next we want to describe briefly the Long walk we did:

Firstly, we went by car from Organyà towards the valley of Cabó. Before arriving at the country house of Oliva, on a certain place of the road one can see, to one’s right, the blue and yellow marks that define the Camí d’Andorra (“Passage to Andorra”). At this point of the highway we leave the car behind and continuing to the right, downwards, we enter the deep forest towards the river of Cabó. Paying attention to not missing the marks, we arrive at the river of Cabó in 15 minutes. We crossed it and as of this moment it’s all uphill until arriving at Coll d’Ares(1530 m). The ascent is of about 900 meters. The ascent is constant and progressive. The start of the path has faded away, until after about 25 minutes, when one takes the old road of Ares, well signalized. At the end, already near the town of Ares, the path vanishes again but without any chance of getting lost. We had lunch at Ares, which is presently abandoned. The view from this place is magnificent: over the valley of Cabó and the mountains further ahead: Santa Fe, the mountain of Nargó and at the back the imposing mountain of Aubenç. After having lunch Roger and Jordi went back down the mountain of Ares towards the Cabó River to pick up his father’s car, and the rest of us continued our walk.

Once we had passed Coll d’Ares, we followed the track that leads to the spoiled edge of Baridà, where the members of the expedition of 1937 rested on November 30th. From this edge it is possible to see, as the journals of the expedition explained, the Seu d’Urgell and the houses of Conorbau. Later on we continued descending towards the Edge of Baridà and half an hour later we arrived at the House of Baridà, where we will rest for a while admiring the solid construction of this house, today quite fallen apart. From the House of Baridà we descended a steep slope towards Torrent de Baridà, and following it on the inside we reached the track that leads to Noves de Segre, that goes somewhat over the Old Path of Baridà. Just before arriving at Noves de Segre and following exactly the indications of the journal of Antoni Dalmases of 1937, we turned to the right, once we had crossed the Guardia or Pallerols River, according to which one considers more important. Immediately afterwards we took the famous path of Carrerada (old cattle path), arriving at around 18.15 hrs, 15 minutes before the foreseen time, at the confluence of this cattle way with the present road that goes to Noves de Segre. Altogether we walked 7 long hours. It is a magnificent excursion that we strongly recommended.

We frequently compared the itinerary that we followed with the descriptions of documents and journals of the passage that we have, which makes us be sure that the route we are following coincides substantially with the one done by the expedition of 1937.

More information on the total route that goes from Oliana to Andorra can be found in the book “Camí d’Andorra” (“Passage to Andorra”). You can look up the story of the expedition of saint Josemaria in the book “Travessant la nit” (“Crossing the night”). Both books are published by Editorial Albada and you can acquire them on this Web.

A final warning. In spite the recommendation that we have done of this long walk, we have to still seriously warn you to, before risking it, study well the maps of the routes and be very careful with the paths you decide to take; you must pay special attention to the descents and go very slowly in order not to take incorrect gullies or torrents that could mislead you from the final destination.

If you wish to complete the totality of the itinerary from Oliana to Andorra, consider that, even though it can be walked completely, since it has been done so by several people, some sections are marked provisionally, so you must go carefully and after a rigorous study of the maps. At the moment only very expert people in mountaineering can take the risk of completing the whole journey. If you want to walk a section, please contact us beforehand.