A humorous, reflective, usually poignant account of 2 more and more bushy hikers' coast-to-coast trek alongside the size of the French Pyrenees, revealing the historical past and geography alongside the way

With a glint in his eye, Rob turns and asks me if i need to "touch his bushy puma." we're in simple terms hours into the journey and issues have already taken a sinister flip. fortunately, it seems he's pertaining to the little embossed brand on his new shirt.

Fueled via a level of midlife concern and the necessity to break out from regimen, armed with rusty schoolboy French and lots of schoolboy humor, acquaintances David and Rob got down to stroll the fabled GR10 mountaineering path, a French footpath operating the size of the Pyrenees Mountains. it is going to take them from the Hendaye at the Atlantic coast to Banyuls-sur-Mer at the Mediterranean, via appealing surroundings and some of the most remarkable mountain levels in Europe. as regards to perfect—if you could set aside the inevitable snoring-induced clash and undesirable conduct that end result from males spending greater than seven weeks in each one other's corporation. This story will attract weekend walkers, critical trekkers, and all who easily take pleasure in a very good tale of human activity and foolishness

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M. The bloody alarm and getting away from bed is killing me. i'm utilizing my mobile after my watch died a long time in the past and the alarm is a woman's voice announcing 'It's time to wake up; it is time to get up'. God I hate it – I hate her. The mornings are certainly the worst a part of the day even if, to be reasonable, this is often often the case for me, even at domestic. i do not like getting up early and those day-by-day early starts off are only compounding the sensation. The regimen of up, rest room, wash, the teeth, rucksack, ft and breakfast all turns out to blur jointly within the haze of my brain. My toes, in the meantime, are certainly commencing to glance various: the veins are bulging on best and so they have flattened out with my feet having a look surprisingly angular. Will they ever be a similar back? within the evenings i cannot stroll safely; I type of lope round at the aspects of my toes like a Neanderthal who is crapped himself. no longer a great glance all in all. We depart at eight a. m. and Rob, with a artful little bit of map-work, susses out a brief reduce. We make the rather tiny climb of 350 m as much as Col de Portet in solid time – actually we're really one hour sooner than Douggie Time, the 1st time now we have ever controlled to get prior to the nice One. We either consider robust and full of life and we guaranteed to the pinnacle with little attempt. The early commence particularly can pay off and we fully grasp how stable it truly is to get lots of the mountain climbing performed within the early hours. once more we're above the clouds and the velveteen carpet stretches out underneath us. Rob stands again and takes an image as I stroll down the hill into the layer of cloud, disappearing into the mist. in reality, it is a lengthy and misty descent and feels rather eerie now and then, like a few type of enchanted panorama. We stroll via dewy fields jam-packed with hundreds of thousands of wierd spider webs, ingeniously designed to catch their insect prey. As we stroll in the course of the water-laden, putting cloud we will be able to scent them. impressive! we will be able to really odor the clouds. it is a type of clean, ozone-like scent. Puncturing the great thing about the instant, the feet of my correct foot without notice begin to harm; a stabbing ache like shards of glass in my boots. i suppose it needs to be a circulatory factor and that i cease and therapeutic massage them and so they start to consider a bit greater. The downward stroll is going on endlessly, twisting its method steeply down via heavy forest, yet ultimately we get to the small city of Vielle Aure. it is a great position and we're there in stable time so we cease for a Coke and hit the grocery store to refill on provides. shall we remain the following, yet capitalising on our early begin we elect to press on and head for Azet, that's approximately 500 m up the subsequent valley. this can store us an hour or the next day to come, this means that we would also be in a position to do a double-stage and make up a few misplaced time total. The climb to Azet is ok and the village itself is a small, sleepy position and turns out lovely abandoned. we've seen a couple of indicators round for the travel de France, which seems to be passing via this zone in a number of days' time, yet in the interim it truly is lethal quiet. We finally locate the gîte and realize that we're the purely humans staying right here: it feels unusual to have the total position to ourselves.

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