The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 3 August 2015

GR10 Days 0–3: Photos

I didn’t post many photos as we went along, so I’ve gone through those we took (huge sigh of relief when I safely retrieved my photos from the memory card following the drowning of my camera*) and picked out a few for each day. Certainly in this first selection there aren’t many of the landscape; I’ve just picked those that jumped out at me.

Day 0

We actually remembered to take a start photo! Here’s our selfie on the busy beach of Hendaye Plage:


On our campsite for the first night we pitched next to a contender for the award for the worst pitching of an Akto ever. We felt sure that if Alan Sloman had been there, he would have repitched it for them!


Day 1:

After a wander through some green lumps, we popped out into the out-of-place shopping village of Ibardin (just over the border in Spain). Absolutely heaving it was! We paused for coffee to people watch and marvel at the bizarre (top-of-a-mountain-road) location of this busy shopping area.


In a little wander off the GR10 to see if we could take a slightly more direct line, we passed this field which caught our eyes for the presence of horses which were smaller than the sheep:


After another interlude on the GR10, we then headed off it again, up the path to La Rhune, a heavily commercialised summit to which a little train runs. There it is ahead of us, under that gorgeous blue sky:


And here’s a zoom showing the amount of construction that has taken place up there:IMG_9150

Some interesting rock carvings were passed on our way:


Then we skirted the summit (to get to the summit required quite a round-about route which was just too long for the end of Day 1), dropped down and rejoined the GR10 where we soon came upon the train which runs up to the top. Lots of people waved at us and, as we sat and ate our tea, everyone shouted ‘bon appetit!’ over to us:


We didn’t put the tent up until the train stopped for the day, at 7pm, as we were quite close to the line (as you can see in the snap below). That, of course, was our first pitch for Night 1. Neither of us took a  photo of our second pitch, but then it was a bit dark by then…


Day 2:

Not many photos worthy of sharing for Day 2, which is quite possibly the fault of the photographers, rather than of the surroundings.

We had lunch on Day 2 by the Col des Trois-Croix. The Col des Trois-Croix didn’t sport any crosses, but presumably it was named for these three, located quite a good distance to the west.


We finished Day 2 up on a ridge, with pleasant lumpiness all around:


Day 3:

We failed to take any photos of the tent at the end of Day 2, so we took a quick snap as we left the following (murky) morning. Mick is standing where our heads had been. Pity we forgot to take any photos the night before, as it was a far nicer location (when we’d had blue skies and a view) than this snap suggests:


The church and graveyard in Bidarray, one of a number we visited along the way:


(As an aside, we sat outside a bar across the road from the church, having a good French breakfast (for second breakfast) and before we went on our way we applied suncream. It hadn’t been needed earlier in the morning as we had been shaded up until we reached town. Getting distracted half way through, I pondered out loud whether I had already done my left arm. It had a glean and it passed the sniff test (i.e. it smelt of suncream), so I concluded I had done it. On reflection, the glean was sweat and the smell was the previous day’s cream. I burnt my left arm that day and spent the next two sweltering days wearing my long sleeved top whilst it calmed down.)

From Bidarray up onto a long ridge we went. Mick looks particularly happy to be at the high point (even though you can clearly see some of the flies that were also enjoying this spot, to the left of the trig point):


The next uphill along the ridge was gorgeously within woodland – welcome respite on this hot day:


Yikes! You wouldn’t want to have a heart attack near here, with all those vultures sitting around waiting!


Bracken was a large feature of much of the walk, some of it was quite tall, as illustrated by this photo of Mick being swallowed up into the greenery as we made our way down off the ridge to St Etienne de Baigorry. :


There must have been quite a bit of dust on the first three days, as those certainly aren’t tan lines** in this next snap! Fortunately, after 3 days out, we visited a campsite where my first priority (mainly due to being severely overheated, rather than because I was filthy) was to sample the showers.



(*Not for the first time, I put an important electronic item in a plastic bag in heavy rain … and failed to seal the bag, such that it ended up sitting in a pool of water. The bag in question was itself in the pocket of my waterproof jacket, but it doesn’t have a waterproof zip and the rain was ridiculously heavy.

** I did, however, end the trip with tan lines just like that, making me look like I’m wearing verruca socks and attracting many stares footwards when I walked through towns wearing my Crocs. The silly leg-tan, combined with the neckline and half-arm tan, meant that I looked perfectly ridiculous when I donned my black frock for a family funeral today.)


  1. I rather enjoy 'interesting' shots that tell a story.

    1. That's good! At least one person might like what I'm producing then :-)

    2. You can rely on me Gayle! You know that 😄