Only one share-worthy photo from Day 4 – and that was taken at just after 7am in St Etienne de Baigorry, illustrating me looking like a D of E-er with stuff hanging off my pack (note too the long sleeves resulting from the accidental omission of left-arm suncream the previous day).What you see here is my pack with a pair of socks on the top, a pair of pants and a jay-cloth on the side, with a baguette poking out of the side pocket. We saw baguettes carried in many different ways in/on people’s backpacks; the ‘in the side pocket’ method wasn’t popular. I particularly liked the ‘in the middle of the bed roll, strapped to the outside of the pack’ method.
St-Jean-Pied-de-Port was an interesting place and when we left the following morning, the hanging mist gave a nice effect to a ‘suburbs’ photo (at least, I thought so).
The gloriously shaded shale beach, alongside a deliciously cold stream, on the afternoon when my thermometer displayed 38 degrees. Just after this stream, the path went violently upwards, making an hour-long pause here very worthwhile (particularly as it clouded over and the temperature collapsed to a more reasonable 29 degrees whilst we were stopped):
This pitch doesn’t look too bad, does it? Next to a stream (only because we’d carried 3.5 litres of water apiece for the previous hour and a half) and nice and grassy. It wasn’t as good as it looked – it was on a bit of a slope and it was the only place of the trip where midges proved to be a pest.
The same pitch looking in the other direction. Fifty yards beyond the tent was a bowling-green piece of grass, but it was also next to a road, and I will always choose a less-than-ideal pitch over being next to a road:
The very common sight of a cloud inversion, but always attractive to see:
I liked the spray painted thistles! Having called Mick back to admire this, the first one I spotted, we went on to see thousands of them over the following days:
The section of the GR10 we walked was incredibly well way-marked, such that it would be possible to walk it without maps (although, in my view not at all advisable, for a number of reasons aside from simplicity of navigation; personally, I referred to both electronic and paper maps a lot). Indeed, we met a chap who had made it as far as Luchon maplessly. Whilst way-marking was excellent, it could sometimes, at first glance, appear a little conflicting:
The most memorable of the features of the morning of Day 7 has to be The Bridge, which spans the Gorge d’Holzarte. Here are a couple of snaps of it:
I crossed it with a great sense of purpose (although I did pause once nearly safe at the other end, to have a look over the edge; it was a Long Way Down!):
The bridge shots were the best we got of the gorge. The path around it was lovely, but didn’t give good photo opportunities for the gorge itself (the falling rain probably didn’t encourage photos either). Much later in the day, after a rare almost-level walk, and a pass, we found ourselves in about as sunken a sunken lane as I have ever seen a sunken lane to be:
The camping area behind the gite in St Engrace was cosy, but no-one snored, so all was well. The tent nearest the camera was nothing more than a play tent, which the two youths using it had found not to be waterproof … or long enough. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a snap of their feet sticking out of the door the following morning.