The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- friday 11 april 2014 -

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(click to open this trip in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps; click right on this link to download gpx-version)

Summary: part of a 6-days trip to the Eastern Pyrenees, exploring routes between bm521 and bm545.
Basecamp: the camping municipal in St-Laurent-de-Cerdans.

Day 3: from the Falgo Golf-complex a trip via Pla de la Muga to bm522 and back

Weather: sunny, nice, in the afternoon a thunderstorm
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds: see the

Start:9.45h, no break, finish: 16h, net walking time: 6.15h
According to the gps-tripteller:
Distance: 17,5 km
Total ascent: 411m
Total denivellation: 822m
Maximum height: 1166m
Total time: 6.20h

According to visugpx

- distance : 17,3 km
- cum. elevation gain : 482m
- cum. elevation loss : 480m
- total elevation: 962m

- altitude maxi : 1212m
- altitude mini : 1020m
- altitude average : 1129m

Just beyond the entrance-gate of the Falgo-complex,
I find these waysigns. My direction will be: Pla de la Muga.
I go left to get - past this working area - to the sandy dirtroad which climbs gently and winding to Col de les Maçanes.
In between, this view on the golf-complex of Falgo.
Having arrived at Col de les Maçanes, there's this sign for the MTB-route to Pic Massane.

Jan-Willem and I camped here twice on 20 april 2007 and 21 april 2007.
Then continuing on the dirtroad NWW which winds along the hillside, crossing several running streams.
Snow-capped mountains in the distance
Then - at a broad bend of the dirtroad - I have to go left and leave the dirtroad which is
well waymarked.

Now I also see the yellow/red-waymarks of the Tour de Vallespir (I think). I wondered if it still existed.

At this point, I spot to the left
these blue waymarks. They indicate a shortcut to the dirtroad. I will try that shortcut on my return.
Passing a hunter's post and
arriving close to Place de la Muga and bm523.

Having arrived at Pla de la Muga with its typical brown sand precipices and where the Muga springs.

(In fact it springs 350m to the W, there's a plaque there)

From here, bm523 is 50m to the left (=E) in the forest at the edge of the precipice.

I will continue the yellow/red trail for a while but first

I turn left and visit bm523
After 'doing' bm523, I continue on the  yellow/red trail for a short while along the Muga-stream
but then leave it to go left, on a orange waymarked trail.

That's here: left is the orange trail and
straight ahead continues the yellow/red trail.
You can't go wrong with so much waymarking.
Further on - ± 50m - you can go left for a marvellous view on the Muga-valley.
From this viewpoint, I spot to the left two things:

- bm523
- a small cascade where the Muga drops
Getting water might be easier from this cascade than from the stream.

Remember: water is scarce on the borderridge in this region.

When following my GRPdesBF-trail you need to plan you water refuel.
The Muga-valley
From bm523, there is a direct route to bm534 possible via the borderridge.

We tried that at 23 may 2011.
Back on the orange trail, it soon arrives at a large open grassy space.

There - on the grass - the trail bends right. That's not obvious, watch for the waymarks on the trees to the right.

On 23 may 2011 I walked straight on and found other waymarks.
But now I have found the right trail to bm522 and it takes me ± 1 hour to get there.
Signs like these help
The trail is fine and well waymarked: yellow, orange and red/blue.
I recognize this scene. It's the N-side of the summit-ridge of  Comanegra where I walked yesterday.

Note the drop of the ridge.
I continue
and pass the Coll del Llistonar
and arrive at this rectangular open space.
Further on - at its left side - we see
this entrance of the forest with these signs.
The trail brings you in ± 40m to bm522
From bm522 I return the same way back to Pla de la Muga.

Directions from bm522: continue on the path and reach in ± 40m a rectangular open grassy space,
go right to the end of it.
There - at the left side - enter the forest where the (various) waymarks reappear.

Then it's an one hour walk - well waymarked and 
beautiful and easy - to Pla de la Muga.
Meanwhile thundering and rain have started.
These signs indicate
that I have to go left
and go across the grass plan
until I'm back at the junction of orange trail and yellow/red trail.
From Pla de la Muga the same trail back
On this trail from Pla de la Muga NNE to the dirtroad, there's at one point 
a shortcut to the right (blue waymarked) descending directly through the forest to
the dirtroad.

If you miss it, no problem but it will save you a few hundred meters.
On my way to Col de les Maçanes, I have to stop for a while when heavy rain and hail start and the lightning comes nearer.
Back at Col de les Maçanes.

I want to redo bm524 and 525, trying to figure out a neat route to bm524 and then to bm525. 

Well: this is my route:

At the path going SEE from the open space of Col de les Maçanes, you will spot two birch trees at its right side.

Just before the first birch tree, a faint trail enters the 'field' to the right
ands winds 50m through the  blackberry and broom to reach bm524
Bm524, looking west
Bm524, looking E to the hilltop which is the start of the hillridge which will bring you to bm524

But first proceed 10m beyond bm524 (=S) to the fence, climb through it and

then go left towards the hilltop E (± 125m distance).

Some faint trails might help you to climb it but wayfinding is straightforward.

That hilltop - as said - is the beginning of a sort of ridge, going SEE. A faint trail will help you along.

That ridge first climbs very gently for 100m to a second hilltop. That's about here.

And then the ridge slowly descends, bending from SEE to SE (this is important, otherwise you might continue NE to another hilltop in the distance)
to reach in 100m a lower - rocky -hilltop.

That's the end of the ridge and that's where (red arrow) bm525 can be found.
Bm525 is engraved at the W-side of it.


I rewalk the trail and clean it up, cutting any blackberry which annoys me (and there's a lot of them).

In between: this view towards the Falgo golf.
Back at trail coming from Col de les Maçanes with the two birch trees. As said before: just before the first birch tree, a trail enters the field to the right towards bm524

Then back to the car and St-Laurent-de-Cerdans. It's still rainy, so first some 'grand cafées crème' in the local cafe.

At the camping - later on - it's dry and sunny. But the electricity and wifi have stopped, either by a thunderstrike, either by cutting it off for the weekend by the staff.

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