My Pyrenees HRP Diary - Introduction

This blog was begun in 2015, to record my walk along the Pyrenees HRP from Hendaye to Banyuls. If you want to read about that, I suggest you start here.

But that is all in the past now, and I have expanded the blog a little to cover more recent events.. such as:

Snowdonia Way
Hebden Bridge
Equipment Reviews
North Downs Way

and also, one day:

Pennine Way .. which I am due to walk for the third time in 2019, this time from N to S I think

I hope you will find something interesting. Please do provide a little feedback or comment, and if you are interested in something that I didn't say enough about, please let me know .. happy walking!


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Preparation: Making a Plan

Hmm, OK, it seems you must have a plan of sorts, it is expected, but it is not at all my strongest suit. Starting one is no particular problem: make a list! It is all the bits after that I have trouble with. Anyway, here is my initial list. Each of these headings will be the subject of a separate post in due course..

  • Logistics
         - set dates (heavens, do you mean you don't even know when you're going, yet?)
         - book travel to and from (it's getting more expensive by the day, don't forget!)
         - parcel drops en route? (in my case, no, I don't think so)
         - book some accommodation?
         - communications - dealing with mobile phones, emails, blog updates (!) and call
           charges, an issue to be reckoned with

My next blog entry here deals with the logistics

  • Route
         - plot a route, in this case from Hendaye to Banyuls
         - get maps and any necessary guidebooks so that can be done
  •  Gear
        - review (and weigh) all of the gear you intend to take
        - fill any gaps in good time so new kit can be tested before you go
        - discard about half of it, so the rucksack can actually be lifted off the ground..

So, how hard can that be? Only three main headings and nine bits underneath...

I must do the logistics stuff early; I hope to have it done by mid-April latest, and out of the way.

The route is tricky. You would think buying a good guide book would be all you need to do, but for the HRP that is not how it works. Unlike the GR10 and GR11 it is not waymarked, and there is no official route! it is more of a concept, ie to stay close to the watershed of the Pyrenees, and how exactly you do that is up to you. Working out the best route will be my biggest single task between now and departure, especially as I've done the first half more than once already, and will want it to be a bit different this time.

Gear is the fun bit. Actually I have a lot of good gear already, including the basics of rucksack, sleeping bag and tent. But there will be things I want to change or renew, and everything will have to be looked at, because it really is fun...

So in summary, I must dig deep and sort out the logistics; after that, I will spend not nearly enough time trying to sort out a good route, and then I will spend far too much time playing with and fussing over my walking kit. You heard it here first!

This is Arne, who was carrying his own bodyweight in unnecessary gear, when we set off from Hendaye..

my first meeting with Hans & Diny (left), at the Cabane d'Ardanaye. The nice couple on the right, you can tell they are French because his pack is simply huge. It is a national characteristic.. there is a kitchen sink, 2Kg of cheese, and two bottles of decent Bordeaux in there somewhere

Mountain Gentian.. my favourite flower; who needs a huge pack, if you have something as beautiful as this to look at?

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