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Vacations » '18 - Pyrenees-GR10
The GR10 and Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region
It all started with a conversation with some Brits while we were on our first multi-day trek in Alpiglen, Switzerland in 2012.  They talked about the GR10 as a long distance hiking trail between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coast paralleling the Pyrenean/Spanish border in France. What’s a GR?   France is virtually blanketed with long distance hiking trails – Grande RandonnĂ©e – with the GR10 stretching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, covering a distance of roughly 540 miles and typically taking 50+days to traverse. Fast forward six years…
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Lescun to Etsaut – oops!
We’d planned to be on the trail on the day after arriving in France. Always a bit risky in the event our backpacks got lost in transit – but we arrived in Paris as did our backpacks, and transferred to our Paris-Pau flight without incident. Arriving in Pau, we were easily able to get on the P20 bus to take us into downtown Pau – location of Hotel D’Adour, the hotel we were using to bookend our hiking. Only a few days
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GR10 – Etsaut to Refuge D’Ayous
Our first real day of section hiking the GR10,  was a fairly big day.  The Cicerone guide we’d been using as the basis for the trip had listed the section as Etsaut to Gabas – a 14-15 mile, 5,000 feet of elevation gain, monster of a hike.  Daunting on any day, more so because we’d be with full packs. Fortunately, we discovered and were able to secure beds at the Refuge D’Ayous – a mountain hut staffed by (what seemed
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GR10 – Refuge D’Ayous to Gabas
We’re really not backpackers/campers. Our multi-day/over night adventures include some aspect of mountain huts/refuges. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, you can find us at one of the Appalachian Mountain Club huts. In the Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia, it was the a refugio, such as Refugio Grey, and in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps, the Berghaus’ were the overnight accommodations (see our blog on the Jungfrau).  Staying at the Refuge D’Ayous hut would be yet another “hut
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GR10 – Gabas to Gourette
The Gabas to Gourette section of the GR10 probably falls into the category of “what were we thinking!”. On paper, it was big, over 13 miles, with an elevation gain of 5300 feet, and an elevation loss of 4600 feet. A mile up, a mile down!  Book time was 8-9 hours, but the GR10 signs were saying nearly 10 hours. We’d already learned to respect the signs. Reflecting back, this hike was Epic all around.  Besides the numbers, it had
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Goodbye to Pyrenees, hello wine and oysters!
We’d finished up our GR10 section hiking in the village of Gourette – a ski resort nestled in the Pyrenees about 30 miles south of Pau, which was our starting and ending point for our GR10 adventure. In the high season, one can catch a bus from Gourette to Pau, but this was the shoulder season, the bus for Pau leaves from Laruns – a nearby town.  We’d planned to walk from Gourette to Laruns for the bus, but after
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