The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- wednesday 24 june 2020 -
Doing 012-028 from Col d'Ibardin

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Summary: part of a series of 6 trips in june 2020 near Luchon and in the Basque country. This is trip 4.

Today: from Col d'Ibardin a long trip towards La Rhune and back, redoing the bordermarkers 012 to 028.
Basecamp = camping Xokoan in Dantxaria.

Weather: sunny, warm, hot in the afternoon.

track-20200624.kml
(click to open this trip in Google Earth or copy link to Google Maps; click right on this link to download gpx-version). The gps-track has not been manually  corrected which explains the inaccuracy and misalignment at some points. For cartographic backgrounds: see the cartography-page

Gps-waypoints of all bordermarkers (most recent version):
kml:  esfr-bordermarkers-all-waypoints.kml
gpx:  esfr-bordermarkers-all-waypoints.gpx (with elevation added by gpsvisualizer.com)
According to Garmin Basecamp (uncorrected track):

Distance: 23,9 km
Max-height: 898m
Min-height: 129m
Elevation: +1411m -1380m
Total elevation: 2791m

Start 7:20  Finish 17:25
Total time: 10:05
Early start at Col d'Ibardin at 7.20. First target is the peculiar bm012.

It's not placed at the ground but at the upper platform of shopping complex. Apparently lifted to that level when the shopping complex was built. The shops themselves are on Spanish territory and sell mainly cheap liquor and tobacco.


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Bm012, already visible


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Bm012


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Bm012


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Bm012


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Bm012


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Bm012


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Bm013 is nowadays protected by a metal construction.


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Bm013


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Bm013


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Bm013


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Bm013


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Bm013


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Bm013


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A bit further, at this gas station, there is an unnumbered marker.


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This one with a cross on top of it.


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Following the GR10-trail, I climb in a semicircle to the borderline.

From this spot a view back to Col d'Ibardin


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with a zoom-in to bm012


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Bm012, zoom-in. As said before, the shop is on (= above) Spanish ground.


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Bm014 is then close, I have left the GR10-trail.

Note: there is also an unnumbered marker 50m to the west but I forgot that one.


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Bm014


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Bm014, information panels besides it.


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An unnumbered marker besides bm014. Note the cross on top of it.


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Another unnumbered marker further on with


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a cross on top of it.


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Following the hillridge along the fence, bm015 is the next one.


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Bm015


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In the distance is bm016 already visible.

The hilltop in the far distance is La Rhune.


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Bm016, zoom-in


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Bm016


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Bm016


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At the end of the hillridge stands bm017.



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Bm017


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Beyond bm017, a trail starts which descends, crossing the electricity cables underneath several times and


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finally arriving at a tarmac road.


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At the bottom of the valley, go to the left towards this building. It used to be a venta.

A trail continues between building and


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stream.


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and arrives at bm018.


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Bm018, looking back.


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The border crosses at this point the stream. Bm019 is visible at the other side.


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Zoom-in to bm019.


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Bm018


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Bm019


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In trailrun-style I cross the river, just stepping through the water. That is no problem, the shoes and socks dry fast afterwards.



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Bm019


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Bm019


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Bm019


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At this side of the stream, I walk back until this footbridge.


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At the small building, I learn that the next trail uphill is part of a GR: the Chemin de passage.

Back over the bridge and climbing along the waymarked trail uphill.


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Bm020 is not along that trail but higher up on the hillside. The fern has taken over the hillside and bm020 is not visible.

I have to rely on my gps and at this point (with the tree) I enter the fern, climbing uphill.


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Without a gps, bm020 will be very hard to find between the fern (in this season).

But I find it, you can spot it between the leaves.


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Bm020, the fern around being cleared.


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Bm020


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Bm020 with a view back to the hillside where I descended from bm017.


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Zoom-in


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Further zooming-in to the electricity cables and the trail.


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I descend back trough the fern to the trail.

This picture: back at the trail with the tree where you can enter the fern.

A day later, I hear from Carlos & Conchita that they also visited bm020 today. Being later, they could use my small trail through the fern without knowing it was me who made it.


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The red-white trail brings me to this pass (Deskagarko Lepeo).


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From there I head south on the left dirtroad/trail which


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climbs to bm021.


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Bm021


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Bm021


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Bm021, looking west.


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Bm021. The hole was made to facilitate the handling of the bordermarker when it was placed.


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From bm021, a trail starts climbing west with soon this watercontainer. Useful when you are thirsty.


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At this point, take the left trail.

The climb to the hillridge is tough.


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Arriving at the hillridge, La Rhune is the background.


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A bit further, at this point, there is a bifurcation.

 The distinct trail continues left underneath the hilltop which is La petite Rhune (with a very large cairn at top of it).

The green corridor to the right - which I take - leads me



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underneath La petite Rhune at its right side.

It would have been better to climb from this spot to La Petite Rhune and continue on the hillridge.


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But I follow the trail along the hillside


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which descendsto a tarmac road, visible in the background.

Nothing wrong with that but for bm022 you have to climb back to the hillridge. And that is just over a 100m detour and that would mean a variant in my GRPdesBF-trail to cover bm022.

So it is more practical to climb directly to La Petite Rhune and continue on the hillridge to bm022.


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Anyway, I have to climb to the hillridge to bm022.



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Bm022


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Bm022


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Bm022, La Rhune in the background.


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From bm022 I continue on the hillridge along - further on a hilltop - this unnumbered cross.


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I look back to the large cairn at La Petite Rhune.


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Then descending to bm023.


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Bm023


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Bm023


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Bm023


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Bm023


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Further on I have to climb the hilltop of La Rhune to get to bm024.

In between this little plaque.


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It says: "be free as the wind".


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Higher on


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bm024 is visible.


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Bm024


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Bm024


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Bm024


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Bm024


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Bm024, looking back.


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Then I circle left around La Rhune towards the small train station. That's quite tough.

Wouldn't it be better (= easier) to - from bm024 - circle right to the tarmac road which climbs to La Rhune? Looking at Google Earth, I don't think so. Or would a direct climb to La Rhune be possible? At this picture, there seems an access uphill. But no sign of a trail whatsoever and one would expect so on this highly frequented spot if a direct climb was possible.

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I am now at the north side of La Rhune and


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climb to the train station and to  La Rhune itself

From there I proceed west to do the remaining markers 025-028.


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Bm025


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Bm025, with a information panel.


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Bm025, besides it is the foot of the old marker.


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Bm025


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Bm025, looking back to La Rhune.


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Bm025, the old foot in close-up.

I guess that these old markers were destroyed by Basque nationalists.


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Besides bm025, this unnumbered marker.


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Towards bm026, another unnumbered marker.

You can already spot bm026 in the distance.


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Zoom-in to bm026


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A cross at the top of this unnumbered marker.


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Bm026


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Bm026, La Rhune in the background.


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Bm026


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Bm026, at its foot the old marker.


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Funny: at the hillside to the S there are


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words and phrases formed with white stones.


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Bm026, looking back to la Rhune


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Heading further west, bm027 is already visible on this picture.


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Zoom-in to bm027


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Bm027


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Bm027 with a stone marker - I think -in front.

But it doesn't look like a former official bordermarker.


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Bm027


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Bm027


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Bm027


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Bm027


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Bm027


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The last one for today - bm028 - is downhill.


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In the distance, I spot a man besides


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bm028. I wonder if he is also interested in bordermarkers but he has left when I arrive at the marker.


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Bm028 is about 15m from the trail


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Bm028


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Bm028


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Bm028, looking uphill where I came from.


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A cross on a rock close to bm028 (which is the background).


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Close-up of that cross.


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The remains of the old bm028, 12m below the actual marker.


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The old bm028 with the actual bm028 in the background.


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I walk back to La Rhune.

There are a few unnumered bordermarkers at the summit.


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This is the first one


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with a cross on top of it.

The origins of all these unnumbered markers are unknown but we may assume that they were the old communal markers before the official binational delimitation took place in the 19th century.


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A monument of the visit of a French queen in the 19th century.

Note: the buildings at the left - restaurants and shops -are on Spanish ground. Tobacco and alcohol are cheaper in Spain.


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Another unnumbered marker.


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The balustrade at the west side of the summit with


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a yellow line which marks the borderline.


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And underneath the balustrade a rock with


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a cross on it.


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View to the west with the hillridge with La Petit Rhune (the outcrop on the ridge).


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Finally a yellow line


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along the buildings.

It took me about 6 hours so far. I am quite tired and take a break in a restaurant for an hour, enjoying a lunch. Face masks are obliged inside the shops and restaurants because of the Covid19-pandemic.


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Then returning with new energy. The return trip will take 3 hours. First downhill along the tarmac road at the south side of La Rhune


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It seems that - from the road - there is a trail which climbs steeply uphill to the summit.


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On my return trip, I take the hillridge towards La Petite Rhune.

This picture: looking back at La Rhune


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Bm022

In the far end the silhouette of the cairn on La Petite Rhune is visible.


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On the hillridge, looking back.


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Arriving at La Petite Rhune


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The giant cairn at La Petitie Rhune with La Rhune in the background.


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I descend on a sort of trail to


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to the foot of La Petite Rhune.


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Back at the bifurcation, in fact a 'trifurcation'. One can go left underneath La Petite Rhune or right underneath as I did. Or climb ahead to La Petite Rhune itself (there is a trail circling to the top at the right of it).

I would recommend the last option because of the views and no need to climb to bm022 later on.


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Back at bm021 with the trail entering the forest to follow towards La Petite Rhune.


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Now I am back at the spot - past bm018 & 19 - where the trail starts going uphill underneath the electricity cables to bm017.

But I keep following the winding tarmac road back to Col d'Ibardin. I've had enough of climbing.


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Back at Col d'Ibardin and making new pictures of bm013 and bm012.

In the afternoon, the pictures might be better than in the early morning sunshine.


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Bm013


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Then finally bm012


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Bm012


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Bm012

As said before: the shops at Col d'Ibardin are at Spanish territory.

End of a long and hot and productive day. I am tired and drive back to the camping.


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