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, 14 July 2015

HRP Day 8

Wednesday 15 July

Today was a difficult, long, but in the end very rewarding day.  In a nutshell, I  set off from iraty just after 7am, walked to the foot of pic d'orhy, climbed it, (2,017m, first time over 2,000m on this trip) descended 1,000m or so to the port de Larrau,  then walked a further 6 miles or so along the french/Spanish border and then down to the Source d'Ardane to camp for the night, arriving just after 8pm.
That does not really convey the amount of effort involved, though! Its not the distance, its the upsanddowns! Perhaps the photos will help. It was really hot the whole day, I climbed about 1200m during the day, and there is no source of water anywhere en route. So I took as much as I could carry (3.5l) and tried to ration it. Still it did not really feel enough. After pic d'orhy you descend to the Port de Larrau, one of the main crossing points for the pyrenees,  and I could see several camper vans in the car park there. On the way down I was overtaken by a friendly Dutch couple I had seen on the summit, Anna and Klaas. It turned out that one of the campers was theirs, and they were happy to provide some water, as well as a nectarine and a banana, to me and to a nice Spanish girl close behind. So kind of them, and greatly appreciated. The Americans have a term for this, "trail magic" and it is common there for people to offer food, drink and so on to long distance hikers.
I was pretty tired when I got to Ardane, deep in the mountains, with a shepherds hut, a small cabin walkers can use, and a natural spring that spouts wonderful, sweet-tasting, ice cold water. Very reviving!

the view at 7am, leaving iraty
Me on top of the pic d'orhy. Clinging on to the concrete post as the top is quite narrow and quite breezy! 

A bit of the view from the top, stunning in every direction. 
Looking back at pic d'orhy
Ardane The shepherd's hut at the left, the hikers cabane at the right, pic d'orhy still visible. Where the stream suddenly gets wider, bottom centre, that is where the source is.  

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