Author Topic: My next Pyrenees hike.  (Read 1208 times)

jimbob

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #15 on: 16:08:49, 22/08/18 »
So you didn't take your bivvi?
That "poncho" you saw was probably the Altus,  which  I had a fancy for but your praise of the Vaude swung me.
Sounds like you enjoyed yourself in the main. Downhills on treacherous undrfoot is no joke. But you survived.

Thanks for your report.


Too little, too late, too bad......

gunwharfman

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #16 on: 18:41:19, 22/08/18 »
I choose to take my tent because I knew I'd be away for 14 days, I plan to use my bivi next month on a shorter trip.

The 'downside' of the route I took was that for the first 4 days their were no camp sites so had to wild camp. For anyone contemplating the GR11, Bera is first town. I found a good spot, as you follow the GR11 red flashes up the main street, a few 3 seater benches to your left, the route suddenly takes a 90 degree turn (bar on your right) so you just walk up the hill on the narrow tarmaced road. In a short distance, this road intersects with another narrow road with a large modern house to your right. On the opposit side of the road you will see a footpath, wall on the left, fencing on the right of it. Walk along the footpath about 50 yards and you have your wild camp spot. It obviously was planned as a picnic spot by the town but it was never finished. Plenty of grass, a couple of small tarmac areas and two three seat benches PLUS piped drinking water, the press button type tap is there and it works well. I shared the small area with a young German couple.

When I got to Elizondo, I stayed in a Spanish Pension, a dormitory bed for 15 euros, next door a bar and food. Not bad but very hot that night.

The next night I met the German couple again at the Urkiaga Pass, nothing there except a hut, only a few months old I think. It was open with a two bunk bedroom (which the youngsters used) and I sleft on the 'lounge', just a larger room with a table and two benches, all for free! This worked out very well.

When I walked to Uritz, the first real camp site is down a straight road for 2km. I stayed there and it was very good. The downside was that to get on my route again I had to walk 2km back in the morning. On the French side campsites were all in the right places. I particulary recommend the one in St Etienne de Bagorrie. Well looked after, good toilet/shower block, next door is a small supermarket but best of all the charge was 4 euros a night!

The next best one is at Biddaray, you come down from the GR10 at at the village the walk goes left. I turned right, through the village, past a restaurant where I ate and drank later (very good) then turn a bend to the left and directly in front of you is a one story building with a large lwan in front. You can pay 20 euros to sleep indoor, with breakfast the next day, or like me I slept in my tent for 4 euroes on the lawn. There are also camp sites at Ainoaha and at Sare.

I got caught out once in France, ran out of cash at Bidderay and then found that the next cash machine is at Sare. My wife is never happy if I use my debit card abroad.

gunwharfman

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #17 on: 10:25:43, 23/08/18 »
As a last thought for anyone considering hiking the Spanish GR11 in the future. If you are not a purist about where you start from and knowing what I know now, if it was me starting again, I would begin at Hendaye and walk the French GR10 route to St Jean Pied de Port and then walk to Roncevalles (about 28km) into Spain via the GR65 (Camino route) and then join the GR11 route to the Mediterranean there.

I believe that the GR10 from Hendaye to St Jean Pied de Port is better as regards camp sites, villages and acclimatising successfully to the demands of the Pyrenees in the shortest possible time.

I flew to and from Gatwick to Biarritz by Easyjet. I then caught a train to Hendaye, only 6 euros.

richardh1905

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #18 on: 18:27:26, 23/08/18 »

Sounds as if you had a good time, gunwharfman. I've only been to the Pyrenees twice; would love to go again sometime.


Any photos?
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

gunwharfman

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #19 on: 20:14:37, 23/08/18 »
Only on my phone, I've never bothered much with photos. Most of what I've done is in my head. If I can I'll try to download a couple but have never really gained the knack of doing it. I'll have a go tomorrow.

pdstsp

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #20 on: 12:22:43, 24/08/18 »
Sounds a great trip GWM - cheers.

gunwharfman

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Re: My next Pyrenees hike.
« Reply #21 on: 15:07:00, 25/08/18 »
Had a message to jot down where I camped and stayed.

First night on a Hendaye, France camp site. Once in Spain I wild camped at Bera, in a Pension dormitory at Elizondo, wild camped at the Urkiaga Pass, then stayed on my first 'proper' camp site at Uritz, one night in the Refuge d' Orisson, then stayed on all 'proper' camp sites in France, St Jean Pied de Port, St Etienne de Baigorry (2 nights), Bidarray, Ainhoa, Sare, Hendaye again and the last night at Biarritz.

It was about 140 miles in length I belive, I've no idea of the up and down elevation, certainly made my legs ache and toes hurt!