Posts Tagged ‘Aragon’

A new way of walking in the Pyrenees. On the Senda de Camille

Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Lescun with Pic d'Ansabère in the background

Lescun with Pic d’Ansabère in the background

 

Do you prefer walking in a straight line or going round in circles? Until recently most of the long-distance treks in the Pyrenees were linear. The big three, the Pyrenean Way (GR10), the Spanish Senda Pirenaica (GR11) and the Pyrenean Haute Route (HRP), which have been around for over 30 years, all stretch from coast to coast. Then came other trails like the Cathar Trail and the Chemin des Bonshommes. All linear trails, at least in principle.

But if you wanted to walk in circles, ending up where you started, you more-or-less had to plan it yourself. In recent years this has changed. The FFRP (French Ramblers Association) has brought out a guide to circular cross-frontier walks in the eastern Pyrenees (Ariège, Pyrénées-Orientales). And Brian Johnson is working on a guide to circular walks for Cicerone.

But perhaps the most interesting initiatives have come from Spain.

They are all circular walks with nights in staffed hostels. Most importantly they offer central booking facilities. You also get a dedicated map (1:25,000) and a souvenir tee-shirt.

I’ve just come back from walking the Senda de Camille with two friends. It was great!

 

My Senda de Camille. Click to see on Wikiloc

My Senda de Camille. Click to see on Wikiloc

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Bearded vulture returns to the French Pyrenees

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus, also known as the lammergeier vulture) are coming back to France helped by an initiative of the Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux (LPO, the French equivalent of the RSPB). (more…)

Footprints on the mountains… the news from the Pyrenees

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Footprints on the mountains... the news from the Pyrenees

Footprints on the mountains… the news from the Pyrenees

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.

Sario (Spanish) or isard (French), a common sight in the Pyrenees

Sario (Spanish) or isard (French), a common sight in the Pyrenees

 

My new book on the Pyrenees is about to be published. This time I’ve been walking on the Senda Pirenaica, the GR11.

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Spanish GR11

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
Above Zuriza on the GR11

Above Zuriza on the GR11

Running about 30km to the south of the Pyrenean Way, the Spanish GR11 (Senda Pirenaica), is an alternative way of tackling the Pyrenees. I walked the route over three years and have just finished writing an account: Footprints in the Mountains: Nature and culture in the changing Pyrenees. For more information on the Senda and the book see lasenda.net.

Walking the Pyrenees: the French GR 10 or the Spanish GR 11?

Friday, September 5th, 2014
GR11: flowering pastures above Estos; in the background the Maladeta massif

GR11: flowering pastures above Estos; in the background the Maladeta massifmassif de la Maladeta

 

I’ve now walked the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean twice. First on the north side, then on the south. Having written about the first trek (If You Only Walk Long Enough: Exploring the Pyrenees), I’m trying to put my thoughts together for my book on the southern option, the GR 11. [Update 2016. Book now published as Footprints on the Mountains: The News from the Pyrenees]

So what are the differences for a walker between the GR10 and the GR11?

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map of GR10

 
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