800 km on foot through the Pyrenees

In September and October 2013 I went Pyrenean route HRP.
To begin with, a little bit about the route and equipment.

For the first time on this route, I learned from these old men in California, and later read Rick.
How then do not let go?

Now a bit of dry data. Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne (HRP) runs along the Pyrenees mountain range along the border of Spain and France on the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic Ocean) to the Mediterranean Sea. The trail is about 800 km. This is not some specially marked trails with signposts. It's more of an idea on top of existing trails. In contrast to the more popular and well-marked GR10 and GR11, HRP is at a high altitude and wilderness.

The route is quite difficult for the loads. The average of 1000 m climb + 1000m reset per day. The height of the mountain passes up to 3,000 meters.

The best time of year for passage of HRP is July and August. I had to go in September, October, when the nights are cooler and possibly snowfall at high altitudes. But there are pluses - less cattle in the mountains and the people on the trail, the day is not so hot. High in the mountains, in addition to paid tur.priyutov with caretakers, caught unguarded houses with or without sunbeds. Some even have a wood stove and a supply of food. A few nights was going to take place in these houses, and the rest - under the awning.

Planned to pass the entire route of the five weeks of incessant mountains! Wow!


Weather is unpredictable. Strong winds, slanting rain, night frosts - the phenomenon is quite typical of the Pyrenees, this time of year. Fortunately, this was not permanent, and not simultaneously.


When most of the time of the day walking through the mountains, the low weight of the backpack becomes critical comfortable travel. The weight of my backpack with all equipment except food and water about 5 kg. Part of the equipment I sewed myself.

Tilt (Szamos)

Tent house + internal mosquito tent. Is placed on the front of the track-stick back - on trekking umbrella.

Down sleeping bags, Quilty, County Clare (Szamos)

High fluff. The fabric with water-repellent. This campaign was the first where I was finally able to use it "to the full extent».


Inflatable Mat Thermarest NeoAir Xlite. In conventional pads in cold weather I merznu noticeably below. Plus, it is not very cool when a hefty "roll" is attached to the backpack.


GoLite Jam 50 liters. The waist pockets super convenient for the smartphone and camera. A side pocket is easy stuff, get a bottle of water without removing the backpack.


Central element - the burner Jetboil. One gas cylinder 230g enough for three weeks. This is important because Threaded gas cylinders could be bought only a couple of places for all 800 km. Another took back alcohol burner made of beer cans. It weighs almost nothing. And sometimes I used alcohol as fuel (he's freely available and cheap).


Fast drying synthetic feather + lightweight jacket. Paint will not.

Navigation and electronics

Maps, GPS, WiFi. For all this, I use a smartphone LG P500. I turn on the Flight Mode to conserve battery life. I take a few spare batteries. Paper maps do not use. Some leaflets with maps and notes that can be caught on the road, you can take pictures and look to camera, if necessary.
I photographed on a bar of soap Canon Ixus 220hs + Pocket tripod.

Food and water

Since settlements - rare, often had to carry food for 4-5 days. Usually take muesli, bread, salami, cheese, pasta, biscuits, chocolate. Heavy low-calorie food and try to eat / drink right after the supermarket. This fruit, yogurt and juice.
With water in the Pyrenees is no problem except for the rare sites. In some places, you need to choose wisely the sources, since upstream of the place may be grazing.


Air and railway tickets, visa costs and insurance ~ 20,000 rubles.
The remaining costs are products from supermarkets and occasional hotel or camping (no more than once a week to charge the batteries).

My adventure began even before his departure to Barcelona. To spend the day before departure at night, I found a woods near the airport Domodedovo, crossed the creek, set a tent away from the road and lain before dusk. When it started to get dark, like an idiot, I went to scout the way back. Leaving all things and not taking a flashlight, I got lost. More precisely, he lost his place, where he established a tent. About an hour running around in the woods, izvazyukal pants and could not believe that my journey may fall because of such stupidity. Before it was dark, I decided to return to the road and to restore its original path. And I found it ... went a little bit on the other side, but I found it. I packed up and made his way to the airport tired in the bathroom to wash his pants and shoes from the mud.

Day 0
All day in Barcelona I spent running around the sports shops in search of a threaded gas cylinder. I ask all vendors where you can look for more. I visited five places before he found what he sought. Too warm for this weather synthetic socks quickly led to corns. He regretted that he did not bring thin cotton socks. Bought products, which together with a small amount brought from home were my two-day diet. Just next to a supermarket in Elizondo (Elizondo). Late in the evening I was waiting for the night bus to Irun (Irun), where very close to the beginning of HRP route in the French town of Hendaye (Hendaye) in the Bay of Biscay.

Day 1

He came to Hendaye at seven in the morning. It was still dark. The main street, along which I was walking to the sea, rests in a large building. I have not seen or heard the sea, I have not yet turned the corner of the building ... Instantly view and with the sound of waves Nakata intense feeling, "Wow! It's really happening. In the next 40 days we will have to go through a lot. " As soon as I touch the fingers of sea water as the feeling was gone. I made a photo and began its long journey to the Mediterranean. It took me 35 days.

Quickly leaving Hendaye still sleepy, I could see the highest point of the day - Mount La Rhune. The height of 900m.

The mood is cheerful. I'm easy and quick steps, not weighed down by none, and nothing more.

At this point, there are first-dalnohoda Frenchman (he was not photographed), which is GR10 on the French side of the Pyrenees. Our routes go together until the middle of the day. We talk about the equipment and the upcoming plans. Instead, track sticks, he ispozuetsya simply cut branches. Later, their paths diverge

Hendaye to the nearest hill

In front of La Rhune. On the trail there are many Frenchmen with small and not very backpacks

Col d'Ibardin. A handful of supermarkets Advantages of tobacco and alcohol on the border of France and Spain. Buy 1.5L of water, because doubt available sources in the near future, and quickly move on


Excruciating heat in the middle of the day in combination with a long ascent to La Rhune make me move from shadow to shadow, and often breath

The Spanish side

This water barrel is sudden salvation. I unscrew the hose to cool off.

Type ago. Hendaye is still visible on the right

Even the shadow of a suitable transformer to rest

Somewhere down there, on the hill on the left, my current upcoming overnight.

East View. Hence it has not seen the high mountains


Hendaye from the top of La Rhune. The Bay of Biscay. Western outskirts of the Pyrenees

On the mountain rides what that form of transport and carries tourists

look to the north, to France

Below the names, lined with pebbles


Just start the descent from the mountain as it accumulates powerful cloud

Each descent - a serious load on the knees. But the track stick considerably facilitates this process

A hundred meters to this place began labels "Camping is prohibited." Same hang directly at the entrance gate on the right. I sit on the bench beside him and drink tea. Although the evening, a special excitement to violate their ban and quietly put a tent on the lawn is not that appetizing.

After half an hour search, find a good place to spend the night on an abandoned road, which is now run only sheep. Before installing an awning lay down on the grass to rest completely for a short time and did not notice how I fall asleep by 10 minutes and when I wake up I can not move my hands from his shoulders. Probably because of coolness coming from the ground. Slightly scared, but after a few minutes everything back in order.

Day 2
Col de Lizarrieta. I do not eat breakfast before going out on the trail, and later, in a conveniently tucked booth. I throw garbage in the garbage cans nearby.


In this region of the Pyrenees there are booths everywhere. Sometimes they are very different in design, but still used by hunters in the season for shooting birds



Visual signs do not just go with time, but distance and even rough schedule inclines




I make a halt, and a snack remaining cupcakes magdalenas from Barcelona. It tastes like lemon cookies. It is too sweet. More such will not buy. Less sweets. More cheese, sausage and bread

Walk one well. He wanted to lay down. Wanted - I went further.

Basque horses. Small and big-bellied

Down there my first town with supermarkets - Elizondo. I hasten to. Along the way, I meet dalnohoda to take that goes to meet me tomorrow and have to finish your route in Hendaye. This is his 27th day. Quick dalnohod! He says that in a hurry. I tell him that I have 40 days of the passage of the route. He is "Aah, you'll be fine»

Somewhere in the scaffold I find the source and shave without a mirror. At the touch



It came during a siesta. Both supermarkets were closed. He sat waited for about an hour in the main square.


I purchase at the supermarket Coviran. The second did not go


Out of Elizondo and ten minutes further along the path camped on a sandy clearing. At night there was a rain and sand spray a little dirtied tent and the inner tent. Most will not put tent in such places.

At that time I thought, plus the rest for me, it is 4 days of food. But, as it turned out, only 3. In vain I had not gone in the second supermarket of muesli for breakfast. By the way, won the green salad sprouts appeared incomparable. Just bought alcohol to boil tea on it and save gas (which could not do, as it turned out)

Day 3
Breakfast a little further along the trail. When going to go on, I meet an elderly Spaniard. In English does not speak at all, but the few words in Spanish, which I know will help clarify that it is up to the pass and back. Very surprised to learn that I am Russian, and I go through the Pyrenees. The trail is wet and slippery after a night of rain. After a bit, he turns back.


Approaching the pass at 1000m. Clouds are gathering


The road to Les Aldudes often paved (read hard) Feet get tired of this walk faster



After the bridge, I make a small halt at the water. Wash socks in cold water

Since the Second World

Coming into Les Aldudes, I fantasize about orange juice. Small shop at the gas station is closed for lunch. And to wait for two hours is not desirable. From the café on the square came the beautiful polyphonic singing.



I climb the steep climb up the hill and go down the path

What is it growing?

Why is it in this area trails pounce on me evil flies. Accelerates step

Type ago. At the bottom of the hills of Les Aldudes

Top of the hill in front, through which I have to go. Upstairs is very poor visibility and wind. Sometimes rain

When you look at other people's pictures, the whole day they pass unnoticed. In reality, a lot is happening. Especially when you go with a light backpack and a lot of time to see the changing landscape.

Another ambush hunting. When there is great need, you can spend the night. After a short time begins terrible downpour and thunderstorms. Thunder directly overhead. I try to go as fast as I can, until dark to find a suitable shelter

A few kilometers down the trail Ronsevale Monastery, which is equipped for the night walking on the Camino de Santiago. To go there? Rain ends. Out on the road the road, chatting with a couple of cyclists who are happy that survived the storm. Even I met two kamineros. Not very fun. I decide to look for a place on the trail. Keeping Ronsevale not want

Day 4
Spend the night in a good location, protected from the wind and invisible from the road. Throughout the dampness. Condensation on the tent can not be avoided. In the morning I woke up at 4 and could no longer sleep. I lie and wait for dawn at eight o'clock. Unpleasant putting cold wet socks and shoes, but after a few minutes of walking legs are warmed. Again, it starts to rain

In the silence and the fog, this design makes a strange impression.

A small house Refugio Izandorre grows on the trail in the middle of the fog. Inside the garbage, but dry. You can make tea and snacks.

While the rest fit cheerful group of elderly French. All in ponchos. It turns out here, on a small plot my route coincides with the Camino de Santiago. And in the next fifteen minutes my meeting comes about thirty people. Crazy traffic! I can imagine what's going on at night in Ronsevale. Well, that I did not go to spend the night there yesterday.

I quickly go through this site, and one is again on the trail. What really pleased

I wander around the middle of the mist somewhere on the tops of hills along the main ridge.

Stop for the night in the shelter does not make sense - too early. But I look inside, hoping to find some food. Since I begin to understand that my stocks likely will not be enough until the next store in Lescun

Voila. Half a bottle of rum. I'm not a fan of spirits, rum is therefore in a locker. I find a sealed cookie, cream soup with seafood and taste some tea (the one that I bought in Elizondo did not tasty)

I descend into a small valley, overgrown with grass wet


The path is overgrown with grass. All wet after rain. I go in shorts, but even they get wet. On the trail lie the remains of what that stupid lamb. From the slot below the trail suddenly soars huge bird


In the evening, I get to the hut south Egurgui.

Inside the dark, but with the door open, you can see something. Upstairs beds. I spread a space blanket Sol, before putting an inflatable mat NeoAir - dusty. During the dinner, a car approaches. It turns local forester came to check everything was in order. The hut is only for mountain travelers, and it can not spend the night, arriving by car. Interested in where I am going and going. Falling asleep, I dream that the weather improved. Tomorrow have to go through a lot in time to reach the Lescun, while there is food.

Day 5
It seems that the weather is getting better!



Excellent. In this weather, you can go through a lot of


Free orphanage without a caretaker. Right in the annexe furnished toilets and showers, but the water is only cold. I'm used to wash every day with a cloth and water from the creek. The head can be washed once a week at the campsite.

Donating houses on the way to the Col Bagargiak

On the Col Bagargiak I come to dinner. A small grocery store is closed. In front of me a choice. Or lose two hours before the opening of the store and do not have time to go out today, the top of Pic d'Orhy at 2000m. Or, take a chance and try to pass this area and the future of a long transition to Lescun with the crumbs that I stayed ... His feet carried me forward.



Ahead of a major upswing. And I well exhausted. At the Pic d'Orhy climb today is 1900m.

I went up slowly, often breath

Ahead of an eerie place. On both sides of the intermediate ridge steep cliffs. When I am climbing on it even little thoughts spinning back and work around the entire mountain from the south. In a head spinning Lonely island - I just had sex. What the heck?!



View further east. Just passed the peak of her overcast clouds. Lucky

After a long descent I have to find a cabin for the night Cabane d'Ardane

View back on the road. Pic d'Orhy (right) in the clouds - there is now a strong wind blows

It seems that the hut, I'm looking for - a small white house on the left on the side, just above the edge of the forest. There is still an hour to go, and I'm fucking exhausted

This is a catastrophe. Hut locked. Find a place for the tent? Begins to darken

After removing the steel plate from the window, I discovered that it is broken and you can climb. Inside it is a repair. All in the dust. I climb to the second floor stairs. There are two spring beds and hundreds of flies adhered to a small window. It'll do. Today, I'm not too fussy. I try not to use a flashlight once again, so as not to attract attention - a few hundred meters of the house of the shepherd.




What is it?

This is bad. What to do?






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