I’ve now walked the length of the Pyrenees three times on different routes. 2700km, Atlantic to Mediterranean: 164 days hiking. I’ve been asked which route I liked best. Is it the Pyrenean Way (GR 10) [guide and forum] in France, the Senda Pirenaica (GR 11) [guide and forum] in Spain and Andorra, or this year’s … Continue reading Trekking the Pyrenees: GR10, GR11 or HRP (Pyrenean Haute Route), a short guide to the differences
On Google Earth, the mountain looks bald. Lower down it bristles with trees, but up here it looks like the bald pate of a man trying to hide his age: covered with fine white hairs brushed parallel. There are dozens of these white lines. Animal tracks? On Catalan maps there is a real path in … Continue reading Making connections
Source: Press release Department for the environment and sustainability, Generalitat de Catalunya, in conjunction with PirosLife and EU Life program, 31 October 2018, with additions based on interviews with one of the shepherds involved. After five months in the high pastures the 36 sheep farms working with the PirosLife project have brought their 5600 sheep … Continue reading Rewilding in Catalonia: sheep and bears, the official version
According to the authorities, the measures taken to protect livestock, principally sheep, from wild animals can be seen to work in Catalonia. The government gives compensation to farmers when their herds are attacked by protected animals (bears, wolves, etc). In 2009 it paid out 97,000€ but by 2015, the last year for which statistics are … Continue reading Are Catalans better than French in dealing with bears?
My first is in walking, but under the sea. My second is saintly, but not on the Way. My third is edible, much prized and much prised open. My whole is a riddle, the search for meaning. How did scallops become associated with the Way of St James pilgrimage, to the extent of becoming a … Continue reading Food for thought on the Way to Santiago de Compostela
France Normally, climbing Canigou (2784m) is an essential part of the HRP but I have climbed it many times from all sides and know the Mariailles and Cortalets hostels well. But I hadn’t stayed in the new Saint Guilhem hostel, nor at Batère with its hot tub! Amélie-les-Bains is the only significant town on the … Continue reading Pyrenean Haute Route 2016. Days 50-57 Pla Guilhem to Banyuls
France The earliest train back arrived at 13:20 so, although the Bésines hostel was only three hours away, it was later in the day than I would have liked. Inevitably this was one of only two days on the Haute Route that I got caught in a thunderstorm.
France Louis went home from Gavarnie. I would be on my own for the rest of the hike. The HRP heads over a pass to the Cirque d’Estaubé and then to the lower reaches of the Cirque de Troumouse, two lesser-known cirques.
After a week’s rest at home, I returned to where I had left off, Somport. Spain
Spain Like all the other walkers in the Orreaga/Roncevaux Pilgrim’s hostel we were woken by the sound of monks singing. But unlike them the four of us were the only ones heading north, still on the Camino, but in the wrong direction. Once we had climbed up to the ridge we were in France – … Continue reading Pyrenean Haute Route 2016. Days 7-13 Orreaga to Somport