Day 4: bidarray-st etienne de baigorry

posted in: They ramble in mountains | 4

It’s difficult to remember how the day started – it seems so long ago; the day was that epic. The cicero guide warned that it would be ‘the first really hard day’, and it wasn’t joking. For me (R), it was the first time I’ve really (really) thought about the magnitude of what we’re attempting to do. Previously, despite our hikes – me mostly packless- in the picos de europa, I’ve kind of thought of hiking as walking, albeit with hills. This is not walking over hills. It is not just walking while hauling a bag. Of course, everyone else knew that -it is the Pyrenees- but for me there was either naivity or denial, both frequently necessary ingredients of a good challenge!

So.. the challenge has started. Today was hard: good (great), satisfying, but hard.It was steep uphill from the beginning. There was scrambling over rocky peaks & tors.. & visibility ranged between 5 & 50 feet for most of the day. Yet still it was beautiful – walking through the heathland the green of the ferns seemed to practically encase us; we were swathed – or swaddled – in green. Similarly the forests wrapped us in beautiful, dippled light. And occasionally, the cloud cover broke to reveal spectacular drops, dramatic cliff faces .. and stunning villages below.

Another great day: happy birthday William Hann!

Distance: 15.7km

Height gain: 1260 m

Height loss: 1248 m

‘Special’ challenge: horse fly swarm – think King Kong atop the Empire State building, bewildered by the biplanes circling and doing harm: Why do you exist foul creatures?

4 Responses

  1. KC

    Amazzzzzzing shots and commentary. What time do you set off in the am? And isn’t fresh air the most beautifully welcome experience among the greenery? Enjoying some now as I type 🙂

    • Will Hann

      Set off depends on what time we can get breakfast – should probably just eat something stored, but..coffeeeeeeee! 7.30 -8am seems to be ‘1st breakfast offering’, so after that. As for air.. let’s bottle it! It’s bloody brilliant, intoxicating stuff;)

  2. Sophie

    Amazing stuff; only just looked at this blog- keep up the good work! It’s a wonderful read and phew what a challenge! Gros bisous xx

  3. Ellie

    I love the thought of you both being swaddled in green and breathing beautiful clean air…sounds amazing bro!! xxx