Thursday 9 July
20.1/38/512 (miles today/so far/left to go)
Up by six (walking clock follows daylight hours, so early starts are normal and 10pm is a late night) and determined to cook something up for breakfast, it helps reduce pack weight and I need the fuel. . In this case, leek & potato soup with added rice and some baguette liberated from yesterday's lunch. I also have some saucisson and some sheep's cheese but the cheese is of the soft variety, it does not travel well & is permeating the rucksack and all is contents. . So I ate what I could and jettisoned the rest. . 135 gm saved!
About 8, Hugo came by, having camped a mile or so back. We chatted, but he is off to Elizondo today and I am for Arizkun, so we might meet up again in a day or two.
Today was supposedly easier, but I didn't find it so. In fact I walked further than yesterday, though not so much climbing. Mind, I did take a wrong turn twice & have to backtrack, which must have added a couple of miles to the total.
The scenery continues to be stunning, already some of the higher peaks can be seen in the distance. I am climbing too, highest point today was 889m. I stopped several times, including cooking lunch, and finally reached Arizkun about 7.15pm, an 11 hour day.
Lunch was enlivened by a troupe of horses who wanted to join in. I told them they were herbivores, but they seemed keen to give omnivore a try.
The basque pyrenees are not noted for wildlife but are full of animals nonetheless. . Horses, cattle, sheep etc. The horses roam widely and are mostly quite tame. They are not meant for riding, sad to say. .
One reason there is not much wildlife is because the basques are enthusiastic and tireless hunters. Shooting towers, netting arrangements and hunters cabins are everywhere. I have seen some wildlife though, some small lizards, lots of colourful butterflies and dragonflies, and some big birds, mostly griffon vultures I think, but not all. None edible, notice. .