The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 1 april 2009 -
The conference-island

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

Three targets today:
- observing Île de Faisans
- reconnaissance of a possible GRPdesBF-route through Hendaye
- accessing bm001


For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

According to visugpx
- distance : 23.43 km
- cum. elevation gain : 326 m
- cum. elevation loss : 291 m
- total elevation:  617 m

- altitude maxi : 138 m
- altitude mini : 0 m
- altitude average : 28 m
From our camping in Hendaye Jan-Willem and I we walk to the coast and
along the beach and boulevard we continue to the
starting point of the GR10-trail in front of the old casino.

I guess it could as well be  a fine start of my own GRPdesBF-trail.
A little bit of sight-seeing: the Great Cross of Hendaye  near the church at the town square. It is carved with alchemical symbols.
Following the north shore of the Bidassoa to the east, we get a first glimpse of the famous island of the pheasants: "l'Île de Faisans".

This is the place where the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed in 1659.  That explains  its second name: " l'Île de la Conférence",

Considered as neutral territory because of being in the middle of the borderriver, it was transformed into a condominium. That's a piece of territory shared by two countries. In this case the sovereignty shifts every six months from one country to another.
With a monument in the middle.
View from the bridge to the east of  the island. You can see a bench but for who?

This is an old map (captured from a documentary of Luc Bazin: ''L'homme de la frontière''), meant als an illustration of the conference of 1659.

We see clearly the island with the two temporary bridges and recognize the topography of the area.
View from the south shore with the same monument in sight.
Close-up of the monument

At the southside of the island on both ends, the water is shallow  and one could probably easily walk to the island itself when the tide is low.

On this picture: the island seen from southwest.

There is no official possibility of visiting the island.  There used to be tourist trips but they have been cancelled.

We have left Hendaye behind, to the right is the border-river.

In the front we see the hills where the border at some point leaves the river and enters the land. That's where bm001 is located.
We're climbing.

And the tarmac road ends at this lively farm. Behind the farm there is a trail leading into the forest and gently descending further on.
And at this spot, where the trail bends back to keep on descending to the river, we find this camping-spot besides a little stream.

In the evening we do a reconnaissance of the access-route to bm001. See the next trip

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