The valley of Bujaruelo, is constituted for the superior course of the Ara river, since it´s born to the foot of the Puerto de las Mulas (Port of the Mules) and of Cauterets one, until the known PUENTE DE LOS NAVARROS; its delimiting with the nearby Valley of Broto, is the Throat of the Navarros (Garganta de los Navarros) with its narrowness. This zone is the most Pyrenean of the valley of the Ara and still not very known, from the times of Lucas Mallada who was asserting that.. "... this solitary extreme of the Valley of Broto, is of the most restless corners and less known of the Pyrenees ".
nbsp; The valley is designated like Bujaruelo, by being SAN NICOLÁS DE BUJARUELO, the only one inhabited kernel of all its extension, that belongs totality to the term of Torla. Its form, it is triangular with the vertex in the Peak of Alfonso Meillón (2.887 m.) and the Ara river as bisectrix, and with a tour about 20 Kms.. It is separated of the Valley of Tena, by a spur that joins it to the Mountain Chain of Tendeñera, emphasizing heights (of South to North) such as: the peaks of Tendeñera (2.853), Baldairán (2.702), Brazato (2.760), Batanes (2.905) and Bramatuero (2.906). It is communicated with this valley by the hills of Tendeñera (2.545), Brazato (2.574) and of Letrero (2.637); to the East, it remains the gloomy and high massive of VIGNEMALE and its southern counterfort, the Mountain Chain of Sanderuelo and the Tallón, that separates to the Bujaruelo Valley from its neighboring from Ossouè. To the South close the eastern counterfort of Tendeñera, between those which are projected Peña Otal or Arañonera (2.705) and Mondarruego that serves as hinge with the neighboring valley of Ordesa. To the valley it is arrived by the same Puente de los Navarros; from there, it starts a track of some 7 Kms. something injured that it leads to San Nicolás de Bujaruelo.
The Ara river, reflects with impetus between the headlands of the Garganta de los Navarros, between a vegetation that mixes beechs, black pine and firs without forgetting large bushes as the box. After have let to the left the Barranco de las Camas, the track crosses to the straight margin of the Ara river, being broadened a little under the Tozal del Cebollar. Below, to the foot of the Barranco de Santa Elena, almost hides by the vegetation, it is the hermitage of that Saint that it is very venerated in all the region. Also very near, it is the Cascada de Santa Elena (Santa Elena Fall) that increases its beauty in the era of the thaw. From here, the riverbed is returned to box in the Garganta de Bujaruelo that flank it the walls of the Gatera, (to the East), and the buttresses of the Peña de Otal and of theTurbón (to the West). When is gone through the Barranco Turbón, appears a beautiful sight (though something short) of the white summits of the Tendeñera that emerge between the obscure forests.
When therocks of Ciancias are passed, it is opened the Valley unexpectedly being formed a small oval circus that frames a meadow of not large proportions, where is seated the tiny hamlet of San NICOLÁS DE BUJARUELO ("Boucharó" for the Frenchs) to 1.338 m. of height. The name seems that takes issue with the abundance of box in those places. It is composed of an inn - asylum, an attached hut and a little church devoted to San Nicolás. The inn has a stout pyrenean construction , with its great bell chimney; it´s called to "Casa Víú"; and say the Bylaws of the Union of the Valley that ..."it is intended for transients who go and they come to France; of the neighboring cattlemen and shepherds that during the months of Summer, have their cattle grazing in the contiguous mountains that are extended until the limits of Gavarnie (France), Casterets (France) and Panticosa; and to hospital refuge, during the months of Winter and Spring; of how much transients exempt the horrible snowdrifts of the mountain chain pyrenean for the Port of Gavarnie"...... Of the lessee of the same, he says "...they must have in good bathroom and comfort conditions some rooms with beds and other accurate chattels to lodge to the transients that wish it; mouth provisions to satisfy the needs of those and straw and fed for the horses....".
The church is of romanian style (s. XIII), with apse of tambour and shell vault; it is covered the central side with a cannon vault reinforced with arches. It had a Gothic altarpiece painted in 1494 for Alfonso Pérez. During much time attended a priest from Broto to celebrate mass, but the state of the shrine was making ruinous. Next to the hamlet, a romanian little bridge of an alone eye, lets to cross the Ara river to begin the ascension to the Port of Bujaruelo or of Gavarnie (2.257) to which is arrived in a hour and a half approximately. This road was intended for to join the Parc National des Pyrenèes (France) with the National Park of Ordesa (Spain). The ascension to the port, offers an admirable panoramic of Tendeñera to the West, and of the Valley of Pouey Aspè and of Gavarnie (France) to the North East. The limit between the two nations is in the summit, in the stone called of San Martín; before arriving to this, it is recomendable be diverted to the left, in the Plana de la Pazosa (1.965) to be directed ibón (mountain lake) of the same name (2.253) continuing the ravine for which drains. In addition to place, it is enjoyed envisaging the gigantic Tallón (3.144).
Other road, frequented by the cattlemen of the valley of Broto (that go to their grasss of the French side), is branching of the previous in the point in the one which arrives to the Ravine of the Pazosa; continuing by the Plana and Barranco de Sanderuelo, ascends from the ibón and port of Bermatuara (2.336), in a circus formed by the peaks of the Crepera (2.465) and of Bermatuara (2.718). When we return to Bujaruelo, a track that travels a span of the straight margin of the Ara river, beginning to earn height until introducing us in the VALLE DE OTAL (Valley of Otal) and to penetrate in its depths, making a tour of some 7 Kms.. The profile of this valley is the characteristic in `U', denouncing its origin glacier; it is covered of vast grasss and limits to the North with the peaks of Asnerillo, between those which emphasizes that of Ordisa (2.319); and to the South and to the East, by the peak of Tendeñera (2.835) and the eastern extremity of its mountain chain that, reaches notable levels: rock of Otal (2.709) and peak Turbón (2.300). There is a path that climbs by the North hillside of this valley, to cross the Hill of Tendeñera, and arrive till Panticosa. Also from the same hill, it is interesting the ascension to the peak of Tendeñera (are employed somewhat more than 2 hours). This summit was conquered for the first time by Packe (England), in 1.871 and it is arrived from the hill in address South West; the spectacle is splendid: Vignemale, Collarada, Monte Perdido, Valley of Ordesa, Posets, Montes Malditos, Midi d'Ossau, Balaitous, Picos del Infierno, Gours-Blancs and large part of the Pre-Pyrenee, included the typical Peña Oroel. There is other branch of this track that carries to the VALLEY OF ORDISA, parallel to the Otal and mastered West by the peaks of Mallaruego (2.692), Fenez (2.625) and Ferreras; to the North, it is the comb of Espelunz. From the entry of this front valley to the bridge of Ordisa, continues a path that is soared until the Port of Cauterets (2.606) almost always by the left border of the Ara river; it is first bordered the Sanderuelo mountain chain and then the massive of Vignemale by the Cerbillonar. Thus, it is reached the training zone of the Ara river, with the contribution of the ravine of Espelunz (decrease of its same ibón); of the of the Batanes, that is nourished of its ibones (mountain lakes) and of the ravine that descends of the ibones of the buitres. All these, go by the western side of the valley, as well as the sources of the Ara, located in its circus, between the Col d'Aratille and the port of Cauterets. For the Eastern side, the contribution is more modest: the ravines of the Cordal, Salto del Pich, of Planobé and of Vignemale.
The MACIZO DE VIGNEMALE is located in the North-Eastern extremity of the Valley of the Ara and according to the Count of Saind-Saud, its aragonesian real name , was that of Cerbillonas. Lucas Mallada collects the names consider some from the mountains of the Valley of Tena and Broto: Camachibosa (Camachimosa, they write and yet Camachivosa). The cited Lucas Mallada describes it thus: "Viñamala, it is a broad and gloomy mountain; the highest of the border line Its crest is composed of 2 peaks. The Easterner (250 m. bottommost that the Westerner), masters a glacier called by the Frenchs of Ossoue or of Montferrat that is extended of East to West, in a length of 3 Kms. for an one Km. width. The glacier has at the beginning a strong slope (unfeasible); in the means the slope is softened and are dialed there the crests most formidable of the Pyrenees (some of 1 Km. of length and other, are cut to peak in sections that go from 20 m. of height). The glacier ends in the summit in a vast plain, almost always covered of snow. The scalers of the Vignemale, have two temptations: the Couloir of Gaube and Python Carré, that the same as the described glacier are in the French side. The topmost crest call it the French Pique Longe (3.303) and its ascension by the national face (expensive South), is effected by the called `Vía del Principe de Moskowá´ who inaugurated it 7 of August of 1.838; in the cabin of Batanes, in the confluence of this ravine with the Ara river, it has its departed, to reflect by the ravine of Labaza and the peaks of Tapau, Montferrat, Central and Cerbillona".
* Manuel Tomé Bosqued.