Monday 13 July
Another longish day, not so difficult as yesterday but with a lot of climbing.
I left the hotel about 8.30am - I recommend the logis hotel-restaurant sources de nive, it is a very comfortable place in a very scenic spot, and I paid €49 for a double bedroom, dinner, and breakfast. I challenge anyone to do as well in Britain. - and then set off on the long 700m climb up to the col d'Errozate. This involved narrow footpaths winding along steep hillsides, where you really don't want to slip or overbalance. At about 800m I came across a plaque in memory of five walkers killed in an accident, which did not lighten the mood much! Still, I got to the col about noon, in reasonably good shape. A bite to eat, and off down the valley to Egurgui where I had lunch, mostly liberated from the hotel.. bread, with some of my stock of sheep's cheese and chorizo, and fruit.
Then a lengthy scramble up a steep hillside, and along another of those narrow paths to the eerie and wonderful Plateau d'Occabe, followed by a long descent to the lacs d'Iraty. This is a well-frequented tourist spot and when I got there about 7pm there were lots of camper vans around the municipal camping fields. Ignoring the restaurant Chalet Pedro (bad experiences there in the past, and expensive), I walked along to Le Kayolar, where for the second day running a long and hard day ended gloriously. Jean - Francis and his wife, who have run the place for 30 years, simply could not have been more welcoming. Lamb chops (four of them) frites & salad and a little rose wine. .. now I am camped just around the corner, next to a stream, with a promise of bacon & eggs for breakfast tomorrow morning :-)
Not sure when you will see this, reception here is not good, but I should have wifi at col Bagargui tomorrow (Tues). Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming, should have time to respond tomorrow