My new book on the Pyrenees and walking
From the back cover: The Pyrenees are by turns beautifully natural and bleakly austere; shaped by centuries of labour… and scarred by human suffering. In the valleys, Steve talks to locals and meets an eccentric cast of hikers. But on the heights he is alone with marmottes and sarrios. He listens to protagonists on both sides of the argument over the reintroduction of bears. And goes searching for ibex imported as part of a rewilding programme.
My new book on the Pyrenees is about to be published. This time I’ve been walking on the Senda Pirenaica, the GR11.
Hiking the Senda Pirenaica, Spanish GR11
Since walking the Pyrenean Way, I have frequently trespassed into Spain on cross-border paths. Often they follow routes used over the centuries by shepherds, soldiers and refugees. And almost inevitably the paths meet up with the Senda, the Spanish equivalent of the Pyrenean Way.
So, having tried the Senda ‘tasting menu’, I decided to eat my way through the whole meal, starting with pintxos in the Basque country and finishing with a crema catalana. I’ve also been learning Spanish, staying for months at a time in different parts of the country. So that I can now talk to the locals.
The Senda is a long walk, 960km with 42,000m of climbing, and like the Pyrenean Way, it joins the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. For a rambler, the main difference is that the climbs are steeper and the passes higher. But although the Senda provides a narrative thread the book isn’t just about walking. Bear festivals, witchcraft, wassailing, World Heritage, and even cows are all part of the tale.
See laSenda.net for more details of the book and the hike.
Footprints on the mountains… the news from the Pyrenees by Steve Cracknell
The Kindle and paperback editions will be published on 22 May 2016. You can preorder the Kindle edition now.
- Kindle edition $3.99/£2.83 / 3.54€
- Paperback edition ISBN 978-1530523450. 262 pages, map and 29 photos. $13.99/£9.88 from Amazon and all good booksellers.
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