Bekijk op snp. Zeker, er zijn duidelijk verschillen. Ik noem de volgende: De GR-routes hebben een eigen markering. Beide zijn in hun geheel rood-wit gemarkeerd.
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Which walk? It is possible to cross the Pyrenees from north to south in a day, but hiking the whole length from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean takes at least six weeks. The most venerable of the three options, it has been refined over the decades and manned hostels are available for most of the trek. Sticking as it does close to the ridge, the HRP reduces the amount of climbing and distance to a minimum but it is still the most difficult option.
The waymarking is sparse, some of the sections are technically challenging, and snow is more of a problem. This is the route for the walker who wants to be alone. Although the landscape is more natural than the other two options, this does not mean that walkers will necessarily see more animals. Although on the southern side of the Pyrenees, I do not believe this makes it any dryer than the GR10, as some claim.
The GR10 has only one pass at over m; on the GR11 there are a ten. Snow can be a problem in the central sections right into the first week of July. For the challenge of walking across a continent, taking in an entire range of mountains.
The Senda Pirenaica is a classic walk and — as long as the snow has melted — not technically difficult. Each new dawn brings new scenery, unlike the Pacific Coast Trail — or so I am told — where the stagehands may go on strike for days on end.
Ordesa canyon Landscapes The countryside is varied. In the Basque country and Navarre the sumptuous rolling hills are parcelled up by hedges and punctuated by pretty stone-built villages. The villages are replaced by lonely hostels. Afterwards the heat is turned up and splashes from the Mediterranean appear: fig trees, cork oaks, rosemary, cacti, vines. There is nothing that will frighten an experienced walker once the snow has melted see What is the best time of year.
Any half-awake walker will spot tracks of wild boar or zones where they have grubbed up the soil in search of roots, but may not see the beasts themselves. On the other hand given the limited number of bears 30 in and wolves probably about the same hikers are unlikely to come face-to-face with them.
Meeting the locals Of the bear encounters since , in cases the bear simply went away peacefully. Only eleven cases of aggression are recorded, and in every instance it was a female accompanied by cubs and surprised at a short distance.
The typical tactic was to charge to demonstrate her potential and then flee. Nobody has died as a result of a bear attack in the Pyrenees since the 19th century. Friends Marmottes They are certainly less exciting, but everybody will see marmottes and sarrios also known as rebecos or isards.
Sarrio aka rebeco, isard Ibex In the last two years the chances of spotting an ibex have increased infinitely from a starting point of zero but with a population of only , mostly on the other side of the watershed, the probability is still not very high.
Mouflon photo Laurence Terminet In the sky the most readily identifiable bird is the buitre Griffon vulture followed by the red kite. Golden eagles are present as are Lammergeier bearded vultures. Sheep near Isaba As for the kind of fauna that Monbiot hates — sheep — the sound of their tinkling bells is one of the joys of summer walking. In the Pyrenees sheep rearing is a major occupation but not so intensive that the landscape has suffered the effects of overgrazing.
Walking the dog As far as I can make out, there are no restrictions on taking a dog on the GR11 as long as it is on a lead and has its passport and vaccination certificates. For a more detailed discussion see walking with a dog in the Pyrenees. I know three people who have had serious problems after a tick bite. More … When? Walkers without crampons and an ice axe are more-or-less limited to July to September for the central sections.
The first walking from the east is Noucreus m on about Day 8. Noucreus m. The crosses remember those who died here in the torb. Snow stays on these passes until at least 14 June and for up to three weeks later. At the other end of the season, snow starts again mid-October. So the earliest date for through-hikers starting from the Hondarribia is 1 June, or 7 June starting from the Cap de Creus.
For up-to-date information on weather conditions many of the refuges now have webcams. The one at Respomuso points to the Cuello del Infierno For reliable mountain forecasts in Spanish see aemet. Distance becomes time. Nobody talks in terms of how far they have walked, but how long it has taken. Looking back at Lac Obago m below In the central Pyrenees, the Senda soars roughly m every day to join the vultures and then dives down again in search of a nest for the night. Like climbing Scafell Pike in England from sea level, every day.
The distance covered is trivial — perhaps 15km, but still it takes hours. Once in the mountains, count one hour for m of climbing and one hour for m of descent, irrespective of the distance.
Weather In many areas of Northern Europe the rain may arrive at any time of day and the Pyrenees are also affected by rainy fronts which wash over them from west to east in about three days. But here in summer June-September the weather follows a marked diurnal pattern. At dawn the grass will be soaking and hills covered in cloud but as the morning progresses the sun will make an appearance and evaporate the humidity. By the clouds will start to gather again and the thunderstorm will start from onwards.
Sometimes only two hours will separate a clear sky and the storm. So start walking at dawn. As the wind mostly blows from the west, walking west to east will give you the rain and wind on your back rather than in your face. On the other hand you will occasionally be blinded by the sun in the morning. By way of comparison, the Pyrenean Way regularly wipes its boots on grass in the foothills.
The highest villages in the Spanish Pyrenees are around —m above sea level, the highest trees around m, but above m exposed rock dominates. Once the batteries have run down, typically after three or four days, they never fully recharge even on days off.
Some years I spent months in preparation; sometimes, when I had knee problems, I hardly did any at all. Either way I suffered. If training is to be done, it should involve as much climbing as possible and a full set of kit.
Apart from planning overnight stops, the most important preparation is reducing the contents of the rucksack. I weigh in with 7. Instead of kilograms, count your rucksack in fear: That fleece corresponds to fear of cold: fg. That first aid kit: accident fg. That mp3 player: boredom 45fg. With careful planning it is possible to stay in a free hut, a staffed hostel, or a cheap hotel every night so a tent is not necessary. On the other hand, wild camping can be a marvellous experience and will certainly save money.
My kit list. Huts, hostels, and hotels on the GR11 For those without tents, free unstaffed huts are a welcome alternative on the more isolated stretches of the Senda. No mattresses, no chairs, no firewood — unless it is abundant in the immediate vicinity — and nothing else made of wood because it would get burnt.
One exception to this is the Baiau hut where there are tartan mattresses and wooden furnishings. The hut is very small: body heat takes the place of a fire.
But the best accommodation on the GR11 is in staffed hostels refugios, refugis in Catalan. Here walkers are at home. All these hostels provide food, heating, mattresses, blankets, and above all information. Many are far from roads and are supplied by helicopter at the beginning of the season, supplemented by fresh produce which arrives on the back of a mule. DO Tell the manager about any dietary requirements when booking and again on arrival.
Unfortunate vegetarians are likely to eat rather a lot of omelettes. Everybody else will eat a set menu. Surprisingly, the evening meal in Spanish hostels is usually earlier than in France: or Take off your boots in the lobby and leave them there. Most hostels provide slippers often Crocs. In some hostels with little space, rucksacks must stay in the lobby as well. If you wish to leave before breakfast is served next day, arrange this on arrival. Bring a sheet sleeping bag.
Expect to pay for hot water if there is any. Expect to pay in cash. Most walkers will be trying to sleep for an early start. Dormitories are mixed and in some you will find perhaps seven mattresses side-by-side with no space between them; ear plugs are essential. Mobile phones only work in some towns and larger villages. Normally hostels will let you use their private phone for booking the next hostel along the route, but not for anything else apart from a real emergency.
However, an increasing proportion of hostels have Internet access to deal with bookings but where they are off-grid it will be satellite and may not be shared.
Casa rural in Hiriberri Bed and breakfast is sometimes available in a casa rural. This is a recommended option for discovering how local people really live. Reservations Book the day before. It is generally considered to be a bad idea to reserve more than two days in advance.
Map of the Senda Pirenaica, Spanish GR11
A little guide to the GR11 in the Spanish Pyrenees
De lange Pyreneeën wandelroutes: GR10, GR11 en HRP