Source of Marmitou-Lescun
*No mileage available. The guidebook lists distances on the route by time rather than miles.
It was a great night of sleep and we all were looking forward to a short hike down to our first village overnight in Lescun. I didn’t quite feel the drive for town as far as hunger, but we hadn’t showered in 7 days, and that was a motivator for sure after these hot days. I left just before 8am, and as usual, Why Not and Jim got out around 7am. It rained lightly for a bit overnight, but our tents were dry by morning. It was cooler with gray skies this morning as I headed down to town.
On the way down, the route goes over a stone bridge by a sheep farm. I had to walk right through a herd, which can often have a sheep dog or two. They usually bark from a distance, but don’t get too close. This one scared the shit out of me! It was larger than most sheep dogs and charged way too close. It growled and snapped close enough to me three times that I could feel its breath on my arms. Damn, he’s good at his job I bet! Totally freaked me out and I did my best to talk to him calmly as I walked through and he continued to follow and bark. I’m not a fan of this aspect of the Pyrenees at all! Really making me consider the mace or something, but I’ve heard this is what they do and they shouldn’t bite…
There was a bit of low lying fog to drop through briefly and then I entered a wonderful forest.
Then down some switchbacks that felt like they were made centuries ago. I could have been in Outlander. Yep, I know a few people who would like that reference;)
At the bottom, the mountains loomed awesomely massive straight over me.
Finally, it was a cruise on a downhill road that was enjoyable to jog. The guidebook has been spot on with estimates, and said it would be 3hrs to Lescun, with some nice gradual downhill and an empty pack, I was able to make it in 2:10, yay! Lescun is a classic small French village. The church bell even rang just as I entered the village.
We checked into the gite (like a hostel) next to the hotel that was booked up. The people that run the gite and hotel (Pic d’Anie) are super accommodating and kind. They are very patient with our lack of French words. Thankfully got a bunk room booked yesterday for the three of us and aren’t in the main shared room with 10 or more bunks. It was only €16/$18.
There are many hikers here on all different routes including the HRP. The GR10 also comes right through the village. I find it a bit overwhelming, but WN&J love talking trail. The wifi was a bit slow, but thankfully good enough to load blog posts. I don’t have phone reception here with SFR, but WN&J do with Orange. Good comparisons that we have different providers. I would say it seems they do get service more than I do. Jim is kindly letting me use his hotspot to load maps I didn’t load before the trip and need for my phone. I’ve tried the ViewRanger app, but am a creature of habit with the Gaia app.
My hair hasn’t been cut in over a year, and I was too lazy to do it before I left. I was even thinking it would be a good motivator to let it grow long enough to donate to Locks For Love, but it’s been driving me nuts to deal with. So, Why Not offered to cut it for me! She isn’t a pro, but taught herself to do her own. I figure it’s always up, so it won’t matter if it isn’t done perfectly. Her quote of the day was, “I don’t know, I’m a dentist (retired), so I should be able to cut hair. We’re all the same.” Cracks me up! I don’t know the opposite could be said and that I’d want a barber doing my root canal…Either way, we were successful, and I feel so much lighter! THANK YOU Why Not!
WN&J bought cheese from the local cheese maker. I tried some, but didn’t like what they had and got some at the store.
We had dinner at Les Bergers (The Shepperd’s) Bar. Very social there and lots of loud jovial singing, which felt unreal cause it was like a scene in a movie. It is apparently not a regular occurrence.
I didn’t get to everything I would have liked. With less internet this week (and all trip), things are backed up. Know that I do see all your comments on the blog and social media even if I don’t reply. It’s fun to get them and I know you all understand I won’t be replying to most.
It rained on and off today and fog settled in early as it seems to do here. Looks like possible rain tomorrow afternoon and possibly clear after that. Good news because tomorrow begins another 7 day leg through the High Pyrenees!
“Her quote of the day was, “I don’t know, I’m a dentist (retired), so I should be able to cut hair. We’re all the same.” Cracks me up!” I do enjoy WhyNot’s humor. Funny, can’t remember ever seeing you get a hair cut on trail. You are embracing all kinds of new things!!
The Pyrenees are just stunning.
pretty sure i stayed in that same place at the start of my 17 day trip there (17 years ago-wow). Did you ask whether they still had my big bag of scroggin and hat that i left behind on day 1?…….we must be related LOL
You are amazing. The photographs and your writing are great, looking forward to following you on this trip
Glad you enjoyed les bergers Erin.
You will like the col de Pau and the ridge walk after it too.. fingers crossed for clear visibility, there are stunning views.. also water points at the bottom and top of the col
I’ve been an avid user of the Trimble navigation app for many years and now they’ve gone and discontinued. I’ve tried Gaia and haven’t been happy with the map download process. So after reviewing options, I’m giving View Ranger a trial. It’s really scary heading out without my trusty navigation app. It seems Rockin’ has adjusted to both and Gaia seems the most popular. I want it to work for me, but . . .
All this down only reminds me . . . there is a lot of up in your future.
Just curious, what is your map downloading issues? (I too use Gaia)
So I was using Trimble where I could download a wilderness area, national park or by county. It was very easy to get ready for a trip. Since I travel a lot it was great to have what I needed on my phone and ready for off-line use.
Gaia, and it seems all the others now, have you select grids. I just can’t see what I want very well. Plus after selecting then you have to expand to the macro you want. I’ve tried different map overlays and still struggle.
With View Ranger I can at least download at minimal size and it’ll still allow macro views. Unless I up my data I have to find nearby wifi before downloading. Much harder to fly by the seat of my pants, my preferred method of travel.
Since I navigate primarily by app, I want a reliable method. I’m really disappointed Trimble discontinued it’s program. I’ve got Gaia, View Ranger and Avenza loaded for my upcoming travels. I’ll continue to evaluate.
Gotcha. Makes sense. I agree that it’s hard to make sure you’ve got all the area of interest before downloading. I usually load a track first anyway, so then I can drag a single rectangle around the trail with a healthy border to get everything I might need. I always download at maximum resolution, but my phone memory is huge so that doesn’t matter. I could see where that
Might be a challenge with smaller phone memory. They also have an option to download maps automatically for a downloaded track but I’ve never used that as I don’t know what parameters they use and also that once I’ve loaded my track, it’s easy to see the area of interest for download, although I could see how this wouldn’t work as well “on the fly” as you suggest.
BeeKeeper, I sure hope you post a detailed review and analysis. I’ve been using PocketEarth recently – not sure how good it would be in wilderness, but it was handy in Spain (Camino Francés) and I’m using it now to record my hikes in and near my home city (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). It does require very slow downloads when you add a new area though. I have Gaia as well; it’s good but seems to be more complicated to use.
YES! I’ll definitely be evaluating the other options. If you don’t already follow, here’s my blog address: https://jansjaunts.wordpress.com/
I forgot to load the Spain one, so when I zoomed in the map would disappear when I wanted to get closer. The Wi-Fi was weak, so it took a really long time to download the maps in town, but I got them for the Spain side. It was annoying because I could only download them while on the app and if it was in the background. it stopped downloading. It took a couple of hours and I could not get anything else done during that time. I eventually gave up and let it run overnight
Once I have the maps downloaded, I love Gaia.
Hope you did not buy some babybel at the store (nor other rubber made).
France is the cheese country, you should not escape cheeses but embrace.
I did try what they had, but I didn’t like the flavor of the two options, so I got the plain prepackaged stuff.
Most spectacular scenery yet for this trip!
I am enjoying so much that this summer features you and Nancy blogging along the same route.
As for time to comment, your loyal followers don’t comment to get a like (as in no demand that you must respond) as we also enjoy the other comments and those commenting. Of course when you have time and Wi-Fi or phone service, your comments are appreciated!
Nancy has such a great sense of humor!
I remember from last year on one of the high routes in the Sierra, there was a “mouth” former in or between giant boulders and she got rocks and have it “teeth”. Funny picture she posted.
I bet it felt good to lighten your load, hair-wise.
I love following you on the trail around the world. So cool.
That scenery is breathtaking!! Definitely Outlander-worthy 😉
I knew you’d like that comment;)
It looks like Belle should be there singing!
I’m seeing this comment after four days of no service. Last night I re-watched certain scenes Siri in the beast because this made me think of that one scene in the beginning and she climbs up on the hill and sings. My favorite moment of the whole film! So funny to see this comment when I just watched it last night for the same reason!
Please don’t “Mace” the herding dogs, consider just using a squirt bottle with water, at the most just use citronella spray, it is safe and they don’t like the smell.
Just noticed you had started your European adventures. Way to go. Enjoying your adventures once again.
I got bit by a dog on trail in the Trinity Alps last weekend. A girl decided to bring her dog with her, which was evidently a bad idea. She didn’t apologize which was really what made me angry. Luckily it wasn’t able to get through my pants and skin and just left red marks on my calf. She and the dog are lucky that I wasn’t the kind of person to swing around with a trekking pole and deliver a blow. At least the sheep dogs are doing a job for the shepherders, but still not very pleasant. Hope all is going well, as I race to catch up with your adventures.
Welcome back! Now that I’m coming out of the more alpine stuff I’m sure I’ll see more dogs?
Wow, how did you get to Lescun in 7 days? When I did it (on GR10, 2015) it seemed to take me forever. A delightful place! A very important place for me! A few days back at Larreu I discovered that I had given myself a Hernia! I hiked to Lescun to the campsite and found out there was a medical place at Oleron, about 50km back into France. I hitchhiked there, bought a truss, fitted it, hitched back to my tent then carried on on the GR10. If I hadn’t found a truss my hike would have finished there!
Oh wow, good thing you were near town. Just recently another HRPer reminded me of how great Lescun was and that it was a good stop to have. That first week was definitely harder than we thought it would be. The heat added to the difficulty.