The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 31 may 2009 -
An abundant painter

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Part of a 16-days trip, using day 1-10 to cover bm154 to 264 in the eastern Pyrenees and day 11-16 for bm416 to 365 near Bagnères-de-Luchon.

Day 7: continuing along the borderridge from bm230 to 234bis.

Weather: splendid, in the afternoon suddenly a strong wind.
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

En route: 8-19h, 11.02h, break 1¼h
According to my watch: Up 1159m Down 821m = in total 1980m. Hmax 1289m Lmin 874m

According to visugpx
- distance : 18.7 km
- cum. elevation gain : 872 m
- cum. elevation loss : 506 m
- total elevation:  1378

- altitude maxi : 1314 m
- altitude mini : 902 m
- altitude average : 1097 m
Starting at 8am. I first walk to the end of the D18 to look - in vain - for clues to find bm230.

I return and via the branch of the D18 and a bridge I walk too far S on the dirtroad but that's where I can descend easier to the river. I leave my backpack there.

I go back along the river - the hillside sometimes getting quite steep - and finally reach


Bm230, again - like at bm220 - a newer pillar besides the old - and still intact - cross.


I climb directly to the dirtroad. That's steep with some scree near the road.

This picture: the spot (at the large tree) where you should descend to bm230

Further on, I collect my backback from down by the river and continue on the dirtroad.

On the map there's a forest-road to bm231 but I can't find that one. But on the bend of the dirtroad to the left, there's a distinct path/road descending to the river, to a confluence.

Bm231 is standing above the confluence, along the path before its final descent.

I return to the dirtroad and continue on it to the E, following its windings on the map.

Where the road meets a half open field (on the map completely open) at the right side with grass and trees, I descend SW on a sort of hillridge, well distinguishable as such.

That ridge brings me to a confluence. From there I go ±250m to the left along the stream until the point where a dry bed/ravine from the S merges with the stream. I spot bm232 and a bit further I can descend to the river and reach

Bm232, note the paintings on the trees. The 'ALA?' is mysterious.

In 2013 I receive an explanation of a similar painting at bm207 (ELAH) saying that it refers to the communities around this bm. See that page.
From bm232, an abundant yellow waymarked path leads W via that dry bed/ravine and then somewhat higher along the stream to the end of a dirtroad.

Probably that dirtroad is a connection to bm231, a nice GRPdesBF-route.

I climb back to the dirtroad where I came from and continue on it until an unnamed pass where - 30m off the road - there's

bm223, a striking square and smooth pillar.

Lunch-break on the other side of the pass. Suddenly there's a cold wind and patches of clouds appear.

Second half: a long search for bm234 and bm234bis. From the pass (of bm232) I see a 'ravine' descending to the E and on its right side further down a forest-road. I wrestle myself to that forest-road and I discover that it ends there.
I follow it back, take a branch to the left which arrives at a small rockridge. Behind that ridge, there's a grassy hillside descending, bringing me to a forestroad which descends to a river.
I cross the river and later on - downstream in an open strip along the river - back to the other side.

I takes a while before I realize that I'm following the Ibarrondoa away from the borderline. I return to the first crossing of the river and now follow the river upstream, shifting from bank to bank whatever suits best, until a (dry) stream, coming from the left.

In the N-corner, quite high above the actual confluence, I see a marker. I climb to it, that must be bm234
Bm234, seems damaged, there's no number on it, only a cross engraved on top of it.
I continue along the river (13om according to the gps, 190m according to the Procès-verbal) until the point where a stream comes from the right. In the NE-corner - a bit higher - I find


Like bm234 there's a cross engraved on top but this one has also a number (painted).


I'm content that I found these two markers. I return to that first crossing of the river and follow the forest-road back uphill. It ends at the border-ravine (coming from bm233). I cross the ravine and climb straight uphill (to the left there's another smaller ravine which merges with the border-ravine)

I end up at a forest-road, follow it to the left and arrive close to the pass of bm233, at the other side of the beginning of the ravine.

That forest-road provides probably the easiest access to bm234 and bm234bis.

From the pass, I continue on the road until open terrain. There I find a bivouac-spot at the foot of the Zazpigaina.

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