Friday, 15 July 2016

July 15th Lescun, the French Pyrenees

Well the journey here from Dorset was a micro adventure.
5 bus rides to Brockenhurst, (bless having a bus pass), where I camped tucked away near the train station. In the morning I caught the first train to hget my flight to Paris. After a while I flew to Bordeaux, but my backpack didn't arrive.
A four hour wait at the airport then on to get the last train to Pau. I arrived in Pau at 11pm to the biggest, loudest firework display I have seen, what a welcome. That was followed by music that was incredibly loud.
I found a grassy spot not far from the station to camp. The music did not finish until 2am.
I caught the train towards Lescun, then decided I would go on the waiting bus to Canfranc in Spain. (Ben and I walked from here 2 years before.) It is such a spectacular journey, I couldn't resist it.
I caught the return bus after 2 hours back in beloved Spain, to get off for the steep walk up to Lescun for the lovely campsite and a much needed shower. I was here in 2013

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

11th May

As I have finished with the gr7, (possibly), I am setting up a new site :

terryswalks.blogspot.com

I'm off to Wales on 14th May to start my next saunter

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

April 18th Mortalla

I went to sleep to a serenade by an owl and a frog last night.
A cold start, then it was soon back to road walking on tarmac.
After a bit the scenery was full of lavender fields, it must be stunning when they are in bloom.
After passing through a small village the way dropped down to El Sabinar.
Whilst having a break before setting off into the open landscape, I decided that the gr7 is no longer for me, too much road walking.
As soon as the gr7 seperated from the gr247 it became mostly tarmac.
In retrospect I wish I'd done the full circuit of the gr247. Getting back there was logistically a nightmare.
So with a combination of hitching and lots of walking I got into Mortalla at 9pm.
I got my final ride from a Spanish couple who I met at a spring in the mountains above Mortalla. They were filling dozens of 5litre bottles for them and there extended family.

P.S. I booked a flight from Alicante to Dorset for the end of the week.
The next walk will be in the UK, before returning to Europe in august.

Monday, 18 April 2016

17th April, picnic site

A 9km road walk along the main road from Don Fadrique to Amacilles, being sunday no one stops for hitchers.
It was then a rough road for 5km to Canada la Cruz, where I stopped at the bar for an hour before setting off on another road section, boring.
At the pass after 7 or 8km the road became unpaved and downhill for a long way until I came to a picnic area, complete with spring tables and good places to pitch my tent. 22 miles plus for the day.
Since leaving the 247 the GR7 is mostly tarmac, boring

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Pueblo de Don Fadrique

After leaving Potones the trail followed a vague path, together with the GR247 for 11km, until they seperated.
The GR7 became a road walk downhill for several kms to Santiago de la Espada. After getting food from the supermercado, I set off to hitch the 28km road to Pueblo de Don Fadrique.
I got 2 v.short rides, yet still walked a long way uphill until.a german guy gave me a lift all.the way to PdDF.
He dropped me off in the village centre, and I went straight to the bar to get my bearings. A young couple invited me for a beer and to join them for food they'd ordered
He, Fredrique spoke slightly better English than my Spanish, never the less after a few beers and wine and several phone calls it was arranged for a shower and place for me to sleep at the village sports centre.
Altogether a good day.

Friday, 15 April 2016

April 15th Potones

The refugio was a lot warmer than the outside temperature in the morning.
The landscape was now a flatter area between mountains, big dry country that is overgrazed. Very few cattle visible.
There was lots of patches of snow about still. Not as spectacular as the previous days walking.
I thought I'd go across country to get to Santiago de la Espada, missing out Potones. After a few km the 1st place on marked on my map was just a road junction, so I cut back to the GR247.
At the highest point of todays walk I was a tad under 6000ft. Then it was mostly downhill to  Potones.
Eventually it became more forested and narrow until a few km before Potones.
The GR7 joined the 247, and from here I'll be following the GR7 all the way.
Potones didn't look much, but I found a hotel for 20euro's for the night

April 14th Rambla Seca Refuge

Each day gets better, the scenery and now the cold wind that's been blowing for 2 weeks has gone.
The 1st few miles were on level track, then the GR left the track and was a path that gradually ascended, with descents through remote country.
On the 2nd ascent, I forded a river 3 times following up a beautiful valley that reminded me of views I've seen of the USA.
I saw lots of ibex and deer from here on. One ibex was in the middle of the track mainly consumed by vultures ? There are lots of vultures each day.
I stopped at the 1st refuge for water and carried on to the next one
I didn't see anyone until shortly before I stopped at the refuge.
33km for the day is my longest day so far since leaving Ronda.