Tuesday, 22 May 2012

update 21st-22nd may

21st may
St Lary-bagneres de luchon
Rain rain snow rain to sum up the day. Long up to col de peyerfite-azet. Snowed at 1500m! Steep down to Loudenville with deviation due to cows. Hot choc and cake to help with he 500m of ascent we faced up to Germ & col Peyresourde with its own runway. Passed two rabobank cyclists out training on the col. Old man selling 50cent crepes & honey so felt obliged to stop. Really long down to Luchon, but made it, however campsite 2km away, but very nice.
Spent day passing through electric fences, disappointed Lawr didn't electrocute himself once..
highs-bed, cheese, ibrufen, crepe stop
lows- 500m up,500m down then 500m up in 2km hard on the head, rain, waterproof boots that aren't
note- have reached the extreme rating of lightweight sleeping bag so wearing all clothes to bed.

22nd may
Rest day in Baggy
Great night sleep. Maybe because we are half way on the map! Camp site gave us free bikes to toddle about on. Quite like the Mary Poppins look, although almost had nose bleed at the speed. Clothes all clean. Lawr used his Welsh charm and passion of rugby to get us loads of information on a new and slightly unusual route. So looks like we are off to sunny Spain!!
highs- bikes, food, dry tent
lows- none, we are half way and the sun is out!
note- Sent back the first four maps! :)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

20th May

20th may
Payrolle-st Lary
Making up tent in monsoon not pleasant! Up and over the col Hourquette d'ancizan with views of the recently fallen snow! Stopped at the patisserie of the century at Guchen. Wandered along making good time to Bourisp. Out with soggy tent on scabby campsite. Wander in to town. Bookshop with coffee and internet access very welcoming.
highs- patisserie, bookshop
lows- snow
note- too used to commercialism on sundays


19th may

19th may
Tent was warm until 1am then the blanket came in handy. Climbed up over Tourmalet on pistes. Loads of marmottes. Sunny but cool. Down into La Mongie then lovely walk through trees to Payrolle, where there is a shortage of TV's so no rugby for Lawr. Apparently Leinster won the cup!
highs- col du Tourmalet, saw salamander
lows- very heavy rain through nite,
note- talked about Patous and what they eat when out protecting the sheep. Lawr suggested mutton! Also noticed the sheep in good health as the Patou gave them a daily inspection.

18th May

18th May
Short walk with rucsacks laden with grub. Met friendlt collie on hill. Dutch lady at campsite was concerned we would freeze tonight and gave us a blanket! Tried to do blog using iphone, but lost the lot and it cost Lawr a fortune.
highs- still going
lows- low cloud
note- when in Luz buy old sheeps cheese
Got thongs to match my trousers

17th may

17th may
Started day with patisserie and got advice from local mountaineer. So munching croissants we set off along the walk with great views. Got really hot at Luz. Settled down and went for wander but not much open due to another national holiday. Bought cheese from Basque man who was impressed with our Basque. Cheese was fantastic. At patisserie Lawr asked for a platt d'ours but pronounced it plate d'whores, which brought about much laughter.
highs- friendly campsite, cheeseed out, Tourmalet pass open
lows- waist belt rubbing, impending storm, national holiday
note- have gone to cyclist heaven abd have made a mental note that Lawr needs to wax his legs and get white shorts to fit in

16th may

16th may
interesting day as we followed the paths on the maps, but they disappeared. Similar on the way down. Starting to feel the effects of the walk.
Camping on a camping car aire. Quite but miss camper. Chained up dog bored so played with him, gave him water and our cheese.
highs- sunny lunch stop
lows- maps and paths don't match

15th may

15th may
Laruns- Arrens Marsous
eary start to Col d'Aubisque. lots of cyclists out. col over from Gourette lovely views. Then we walked down to Soulor rd which we understood we could walk along. So we headed out through the tunnels which was amazing. Near the end we were stopped and told the road was closed to everyone due to possible falling rocks said the workman with no helmet! Coming down from the col Soulor we head some heavy breathing and barking. Waiting for the appearence of a large Patou I pushed Lawr on in front, but it turned out to only be a frightened deer making her escape. Lawr spoke to man about rugby but as neither spoke each others language it was very entertaining.
highs- views at cols, Solour road, sunny but cool
low- campsite on other side of town, bruised hips, forecast not looking good
note - left atlantic pyrennes now in high pyrennes

14th may

14th may
Gabas -Laruns
really chilly in morning. Took chemin st jaques to Laruns. Found out passes over 2000 are not advised. Spent afternoon planning route for next week, eating fresh fruit and feeding the stray who was in poor condition so we named him Matty.
Highs- restful pm, sunny, fresh fruit
lows- route change
note- discussed what we couldn't do without on trip and both said each other :) x

13th may

13th may
misty start & wise old man gave us a short cut. mad super brilliant on the chemin de mature! A massive cliff with a path cut out by convicts! no room for tripping over on this route. Feet soaked from start due to fording high rivers. thick mist and snow, but got to col ok with a great inversion! was wished courage by fellow walker as I took a deep breath and followed Lawr into the mist & heavy snow. Shivering we made CAF hut in Gabas,but it was closed but they gave us hot choc and free camping. must look miserable more often!
highs-col over 2000m, hot choc, wise man
low- distance and timing, cold wet feet all day, no shower
note-took local advice so change of route.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

update 8th-12th

8th may
P-de-port - col d'irau
On the road again (with nearly new knee) nice route but rain came on. Coffee stop to dry out at Estercuby auberge Etchegoyen. Birds of prey overhead. Took old GR route which contoured a lot, Lawr was happy! wild camp at col but cheese seller i was hoping for was not there... but great camp spot.
highs -long easy day, cool weather, early bed
lows - navigation, no cheese,
note - Lawr has excelled himself and blown his annual clothing budget on a pair of 2euro flip flops

9th may
col d irau - logibar
lightening and high winds in the night, but tent made it. Quick morning, nice at Irati then over to Larreau. Found shop, phew.  Wild camp at logibar and river wash. Saw first snow on mountains and there is quite a lot still. Shame can`t upload the picture as the views have been great.

highs - views of central pyrennes, cheese, river wash, cold porridge
lows - 1st day of cows, huge height lost to be gained tomorrow, lots of biting things at camp spot
note - as the Lone Ranger looked out of the tent he turned to Tonto to say he had spotted apache clouds on top of the hills. Tonto was mightly impressed by the Lone Ranger`s knowledge of native american tribes. Only when the storm struck later did she realise she`d misunderstood.

10th may
logibar-st engrace
Sunny day following gorges, very impressive. Lawr kept me away from the edge in case of a balance impairment. Long climb up and back down so an icy pool was a welcome break in the afternoon. In st Engrace we are told that the cols are closed with snow. Now studying maps for possible alternatives.

highs -early cool start, easy pace!, lovely walk
lows - pass may be shut, cows, bites, no fromage for sale on hills yet
note - cornered by a collie, slavered on by a spaniel, yapped at by a yorkie. Alway check boots for wildlife in morning before putting them on!

11th may

st engrace- lescun
Very early start, lots of ascent, at col faced with pic d`anie and a view of loads of snow everywhere! Just after met three wise men who had conpleted the GR10 which donkeys. They were confident we would get over col despite other info we were given. Lawr feeling very chipper now. We stop of coffee at Snowbar in Arrette la Pierre st martin and owner very positive as well and offers us a different route. So laden with half a kilo of cheese and two baggettes we set off via cabin campagol. Tough to get to cabin through limestone and snow, but we had a good traverse to col azuns and make it through. We bounce down the otherside, shop till we drop, then haul our weary bodies to the 2km away camping.
highs - mission achieved, 3wisemen, cheese, mountain water, freshfruit, iceball cone at 1800m, wildlife

lows - sore feet
note - in touch with nature (ie smell au natural) as an Izard came within 10m of us!
top day so far

12th may
Massive storm surrounded us last night, lightening amazing. After yesterday`s exertion we took it very easy. Lovely and shady in woods. Met a policeman in uniform at the col at 1601m! Borce nice, but no official camping, however got shown nice wild spot. Drinking coffee in community cafe and life is good.
highs - cafe, camping spot,
lows - dodgy knees for both of us
note - wild washes verging on the exhibitionist.

Monday, 7 May 2012

update 3-7 may

3rd may
1st day of walking. Street map had wrong route and spent 30mins finding GR. Through villages we had a four legged friend showing us the way to the camping, which was shut. So camped in gully next to strean.
highs- good weather, lovely start to walk
lows- overdone day, few blisters, poor camp site.
notes - crossed into spain, spoke spanish to a lady who knew where Wales is.

4th May
B/fast at Ainhoa croissants of course. very hot but windy. rocky descent from col de mehatche, scary! wild camp had to use emergency food.
highs- wash in river, vultures, can`t see sea anymore
lows- feet, dead horse, wearing wet clothes to dry them
note- can speak Basque

5th may
Bidarray-st Etienne-de-baigorry
bodies in pain after 3 days of long walks. top of d`Iparla saw the blooming sea! offical camp site tonigh with hot showers.
highs- good camp site, lots of food, early finish.
lows- cockroaches in shower, sore knee, run out of compeed
note- harassed patisserie owner to open and had best choc croissants so far, fresh from oven.

6th may
st Etienne-de-baigorry- St jean-pied-de-port
easy route along lanes camp site for midday. knee painful so Lawr made me stand in river for 15min or so while we played with local stray dog.
highs- nice town, dog liked me, lawr`s feet feeling better.
lows - knee awfy sore :(

7th may
still in P-de-P resting! saw doc and no major injury to knee, i have just pushed myself and Lawr too far too quickly.....
highs - ultra strong anti inflam`s
lows- behind on `schedule` (Wend`s schedule!)
note- Lawr happy with doc`s advice on reducing schedule demands.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gr10! & snow?

Not sure where I am in blog as can't work it or Lawr phone so stay with me.
April 18th
Stayed at le barcares really windy but sunny although the sea was freezing, thought Med was warm?!
Highs- beach, sun, watched good film
Lows- windy again, Pyrenees cover in lot of snow low down
Note- debating whose idea it was to attempt walk..

May 1st
Realised we get train tomorrow, so walk along beach & burn feet.
Highs- sunny, lovely camper spot
Lows- last night in camper for a while, rucsac to small
Note- Lawr achieved level one in waxing, though he said the examiner was pedantic.

May 2nd
On train for most of day to Hendaye
Highs- start of new journey, clean train, hotel:)
Lows- amount of snow on hills, hot feet, sore knee already
Note- Lawr said I should put my crumbs on grass for penguins to eat. The Toulouse pigeons were quite put out. (think I should keep him out of midday sun)