Author Topic: My next Pyrenees hike.  (Read 1386 times)

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
My next Pyrenees hike.
« on: 14:18:55, 22/07/18 »
I've had an 'Ileotibial Band Syndrome' injury,  for some months and have only been able to walk for short stretches this year. I am now fully healed, so with no further difficuluties so I've booked myself a 14 day hike in August.

I'm flying to Biarritz, catching the train (or bus) to Hendaye and will camp there the night. The next day, leaving early, I will then stroll into Spain and start to walk on the GR11 for a few days. I will eventually get to Auritz. Once there I plan to turn left to Roncesvalles and then hike GR65 Route Napoleon track to St. John Pied du Port.

From there I then plan to hike, east to west, back to Hendaye via the GR10.

I've found out from personal experience that to book a fixed return date might be problematic for me? Trying to make a sensible estimate about how many days my walk will actually take me is not one of my skills, but I'm hoping I'm not far out.

I'm also going to take a chance that I can get my Exos 40L onto the plane as hand luggage? Easyjet state a 46cm length, my rucksack length is 47cm. The other dimensions are fine. I'm either going to succeed, or I will have to cough up extra money!

jimbob

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #1 on: 14:51:05, 22/07/18 »
If you take walking poles then make sure that they fit inside your bag or pretend you use them to help you walk about.
I got a lightweight cover bag ( Highlander make) zipped the whole backpack inside it and put it in the hold as it seemed just too much hassle getting things through security. I later used that bag when I got my rucksack transported ahead of me when my leg was giving me gip as I had a padlock for it.
Great route by the way.

There is a good you tube on a St Jean to Hendaye connector route.

After I did the Camino Frances last year I thought that was it for me. But I find that  I'm tempted to go again, but doing it slightly differently. Walking down from Biarritz  to Pamplona on the Voie Baztan. The infrastructure for hikers is so superior to anything on offer in the UK.
Have fun on the route Napoleon that is a long downhill.
Too little, too late, too bad......

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #2 on: 16:54:03, 22/07/18 »
Thanks, I'm looking forward to it. I have just found a site with maps (https://travesiapirenaica.com) which to date, is the best I've come across.

I'm also keeping open the option with my wife, that if I feel good enough, mentally and physically, when I get to Auritz I just might make the decision to keep going on the GR11 to Andorra at least? I think its unlikely but I will think seriously about this option en route. I know I'll lose my Biarritz flight home money, but as she said "its only money, you're 73, you're semi-retired, what else are you going to spend it on?"

jimbob

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #3 on: 19:24:05, 22/07/18 »
In the long ago history of my youth I went up over the Pyrenees to Andorra via the Seo de Urgell. It was amazing  but very difficult in places , it involved a few scrambles where the path had either disappeared through either land movement  or human intervention to stop the smugglers.

I came home to watch us win the world cup.
« Last Edit: 21:56:10, 22/07/18 by jimbob »
Too little, too late, too bad......

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #4 on: 20:47:39, 22/07/18 »
Cor, that was a while ago! I too was in Europe when we won the world cup. I remember in particular being in Geneva when England played France and we won 2-0. I think my memory is correct about this. My friend and I watched it on a TV behind a shop window, no sound and just in black and white. There were a group of other lads from different countries standing around us as well. When England scored its second goal we had to get away from there fast. A few of the lads got nasty and wanted to do us over! We escaped without injury.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2732
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #5 on: 10:45:28, 23/07/18 »
And I was on a train for Paris, returning from Chamonix. We were sitting in a cramped group in the corridor of the train by the toilet, listening to the match on a transistor radio. My previous night's actual sleep, I was tied to a piton on a narrow ledge high on the Aiguille de Peigne, over 9000ft. It had been a bit of a rush to make our train to catch the ferry.

BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #6 on: 11:49:26, 23/07/18 »
I went through my equipment yeasterday. I've worked out that I need to buy a new Source Wideneck bladdder and a new hiking shirt and thats all. I am also going to wash my slleping bag, it needs to be done!

Interestingly, when the Brexit vote came in, it was soon after that my wife and I decided to not make any more 'want' purchases and just concentrate on our 'need' purchases. So I've stuck with my PC, phone, TV etc, we've made sure we wear our shoes and clothes out properly, we ignore 'fashion' (as always), never go to the cinema, watch on PC, never buy a newspaper, watch on PC, eat out less, (great way to lose a bit of weight) ignore the 'chains anyway, use our cars less, (easy to do, we thought it would be hard) to plan to get rid of one of our cars, (not achieved yet) no new furniture and fittings, etc, etc. Now its become a way of life and we are happy to do it and are pleasently surprised how much money I can now spend on my next trip, if I want to. Thanks Brexit voters, well for the moment anyway!

I'm in a really good frame of mind today and really enjoyed my morning 'medication', a cup of coffee and a custard tart, sitting in our cool conservatory. By this afternoon it will be like an oven! I'm an expert, I can assure you the Tesco custard tarts are the best and the best Porridge is Sainsbury's own brand. Good to be alive!

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #7 on: 12:19:26, 04/08/18 »
I'm going to try something a bit different on this trip. I'm taking my poncho and going to leave my Marmot Precip (it leaks at the hood part anyway) and my rain skirt at home. I'll take my very lightweight running jacket as my wind jacket. I'm saving about 1oz in weight!

I find that Google steet map is so very useful. I know from experience that finding the start of a walk can sometimes be problematic when trying to get going whilst still in an urban area. I've just 'walked' on screen, from my first campsite in Hendaye, France, across a bridge into Irun in Spain and I then carried on 'walking' to where the GR11 route crosses the motorway. I can even see my first white/red flash paint marks to guide me.

jimbob

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #8 on: 13:02:03, 04/08/18 »
Have a great time. I am so jealous.
I am planning to walk a modified Baztan camino from Biarritz to Pamplona next year. 
So much work to do on ghe house thus year while I am supple enough to do it.
Again have a wonderful time and watch out for the chiens mechants :)
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2427
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #9 on: 14:19:18, 04/08/18 »
You don't want to be mucking about down the end of the Pyrenees.  Head for the Haute Garonne, Ariege, Haute Pyrenees area.  Loads of linear and circular routes on and around the GRs. Walks to above 3000m are possible. Have a look at the area near Bagneres du Luchon as a base for example. There are train and bus links from Toulouse, Pau or Lourdes airports.
Solvitur Ambulando

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7607
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #10 on: 22:38:07, 10/08/18 »
Gunwharfman - if you're roaming around the Pyrenees and southern France at the moment can you let us know you're okay?  (I know you like to "stay connected" with all your gadgets!) 


I'm reading some awful stories about fierce storms and flash flooding in southern France over the last couple of days.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45134715



No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2427
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #11 on: 07:43:13, 11/08/18 »
Gunwharfman - if you're roaming around the Pyrenees and southern France at the moment can you let us know you're okay?  (I know you like to "stay connected" with all your gadgets!) 


I'm reading some awful stories about fierce storms and flash flooding in southern France over the last couple of days.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45134715






Mel, You need to mug up on French geography. The SW Pyrenees are roughly the distance from London to Newcastle away from the floods.
Solvitur Ambulando

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7607
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #12 on: 08:46:17, 11/08/18 »
Let's hope it's isolated to that area then.

No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #13 on: 11:30:03, 22/08/18 »
14 days in the Pyrenees and I'm back in the UK this morning. I had a great hike, harder that I first thought, good days, low days, feet hurty days, very hot weather, very wet weather, you all know the routine of a hike. Apart from everything else I was never cold, not even in the night. Walked each day between 6-8 hours, gorged myself on beer, wine, coffee, cake and good food and am home 2.5kg lighter!

Most of the weight has gone from my waistline, I had to tighten my belt three notches by the end otherwise my trousers would have been around my ankles every day.

My route, started at Irun, Spain on GR11 and walked to the GR65 (Camino) at Ronecevalles, then turned left on the GR65 to St Jean Pied de Port in France. For about 28km I was the ONLY person going my way, coming at me however, were HUNDREDS of Camino hikers heading to Spain. Some obviously were poorly equipped, (in flip flops, etc) many thought it would be 'just a stroll' and were really suffering and the hot fierce sun didn't help either. Luckily I started the day with 3 litres of water. I must have given more that 1 liter to thirsty 'pilgrims' who had drunk their water much earlier.

Once in St Jean I headed back to Hendaye on the GR10, then to Biarritzt then home.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1928
Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #14 on: 12:02:43, 22/08/18 »
I had walked the GR10 from Hendaye to St Jean Pied de Pour in 2015 but this time I was doing it the other way. On route I had two days of heavy rain and a couple of squalls, which made the hiking so much harder. The section from St Etienne du Bagory to Biddaray was especially demanding, seem to take for ever! The really steep rocky paths were really scary in the wet, I fell 3 times, each time on my back but my rucksack cushioned me from any injury. I tried to be incredibly careful to know where I was placed every step, otherwise I could have been down in some deep crevasse somewhere and would have just become vulture lunch! The effort of concentrating was exhausting, especially when coming down, one down path really caused my toes to ache, I have two black toes now on each foot.

My Pacerpoles really came into their own, fantastic piece of kit, thanks Percy once again, for introducing me to them. I bought a really cheap pair of walking trousers from Decathlon, only 8, they were truly fantastic, comfortable, quick drying and so easy to wash. Brilliant! I bought one of their hiking shirts as well, total rubbish, when I perspired the material just stayed wet for so long, horrible item! I also bought a cheap pair of 'waterproof' boots from them, comfortable, light and easy to walk in yes, but waterproof no! And before I forget, two pairs of 4 each boxer underwear, one red, one blue, from the same shop, best I've ever walked in by a mile!

I used my poncho, it worked well (especially when trying to stay cool around the waist and underwear areas) but when in St Jean I saw a different kind of poncho. If I did not already have my Vaude I would have bought it. It was a long mac, with a hood, with an area to cover the rucksack with flares to each side so that big strides can be taken over rocks and streams and what seemed best of all, it buttoned all the way from top to bottom.

Last but not least at Bidderay because it was raining hard I had to pitch tent the wrong way around. Instead of inner first then waterproof outer second, I pitched waterproof outer first, then crawled under with my inner tent. Erecting it worked, but it the effort and the contortions I had to make made me perspire like crazy! It worked though and better than sleeping in a wet tent.