|A Hunters Cabin near the Col d'Ibardin, where I spent my first night in the Pyrenees in 2010 (that's my tent and rucksack). It had a water source, a barbecue, and several other walkers...|
I don't like planning walks; really I just want to set off and get started. But some planning is unavoidable. This post should provide a checklist of the minimum that needs to be done...
First of all I must set dates. Not just for departure, but for preparation and training too - the High Pyrenees is a demanding environment. So here we go:
3 day prep walk: 27/28/29 April
3 day prep walk: 13/14/15 May
6 day prep walk: 12/17 June
Depart for Hendaye: Monday 29 June
Start walking: Tuesday 30 June
Finish at Banyuls : Wednesday 18 August (50 days later)
Home: Friday 20 August
The preparation walks are partly for physical training - I will be trying to do 20 miles/day or thereabouts - and also to check out all my gear. I will try to use all the stuff I am going to take to the Pyrenees. Also do some blog updates etc. from my phone.
I've allowed 50 days for the walk itself, but the truth is I have very little idea how long it will take. If I'm feeling fit and press on, I reckon I might walk the 500 miles in no more than 30 days - that is only 16 miles/day after all. However (a) it does go up and down a lot - and this seriously affects how far you can walk in a day. (b) I expect to have a rest now and then. I expect to have three or four "zero days," as required. And also (c) I would like to climb a couple or three of the higher peaks en route: Vignemale, Posets, Aneto.. for example. More about this when I get onto planning the route. The rest of the time is just contingency - it will stop me worrying about running short of time.
The other aspects of logistics planning I need to sort out are:
- booking travel, to and from
- booking accommodation as necessary (only the first day or two probably)
- communications: phones and phone tariffs, blogging etc.
Rather than try to detail those now I will post this update, and then come back and add to it over the next week or so.
Once that is done, the next update should deal with route planning.. or will panic have started to set in?
|This was supposed to be a small shop, near the Redoute de Lindux. It was firmly closed. Shopping is a tricky business on the HRP. My rucksack is leaning against a stone marking the French/Spanish border|
|The pilgrims' dormitory in Roncesvalles, 2010. It accommodated 250 people in some discomfort and staying there was quite an experience; but it has since been replaced by a new building|