The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 10 july 2010 -
Paint it black

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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

Daytrip from Puigcerda to 'do' bm435-437I, not found on
august 28th, 2007
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

According to the gps-tripteller
Distance: 29,3km
Duration: 10.45 in total (7.24 moving, 3.33 standing still), 1/2 hour break

According to visugpx
- distance : 27,5 km
- cum. elevation gain : 1167 m
- cum. elevation loss : 1128 m
- total elevation:  2295

- altitude maxi : 2301
- altitude mini : 1167
- altitude average : 1634 m
Start: ± 7am in Puigcerda from this pension - hotel Victoria - and  finishing  at the trainstation of La Tour de Carol at 5.45pm
Passing the border between Puigcerda and Enveitg
with bm467.
It takes me about 5 hours to get to my starting point - bm435 -, including extra time searching in vain for a track uphill and dressing a headwound of a fallen and upset mountainbiker.

On this picture: looking ahead to the mountain yet to climb.

Move the mouse over the picture to see the approximate borderline.

I follow dirt roads and tracks to get as far as I can - by road & track - to bm437, then through the broom uphill.

This picture: looking back at the valley where I came from.  Using my gps, I'm getting close to the spot of bm437

But at first glance, I can't find bm437 and climb on. However I confused Alain's picture of 436 with 437. In fact - as I will find out later - I'm within close view of bm437 but I just looked in the wrong direction.
Going up the slope, there's no clear ridge of watershed.
But - with help of my gps - I stumble upon bm436, high on a distinctive rock. 
The cross and number are painted black now, as are most of the bm's of today, which makes life of a bm-explorer much easier.

Alain Laridon's pictures show unpainted bm's. I admire Alain.
Bm436 from distance
But now a bit higher, looking back at the backside of bm436, that's the rock at the left.

Notice the spanish 'hunting reserved'-signboard, also a kind of bordermarker. Such signboards have been useful on many occasions to recognize the borderline.
Moving on to my highest point: bm435, unawaringly photographed on
august 28th, 2007
Now I'm back again for more pictures and gps-waypointing.
And having climbed at bit higher, you can see the bm435-rock in the context of its surroundings.
Then - after a break - going downhill all the way along the border until bm448.

First I approach and pass bm436. This picture might help others to recognize it.

Further descending to the place of bm427.

The place to be is a bunch of rocks at the southern edge of a pinetree forest you'll notice when you're descending from bm436.

Move the mouse over the picture to see where bm437 is approximately is located.

I now know that I compared it with the wrong picture. And I remember a cairn.
I'm stupified that bm437 is so well visible from the cairn.

How could I miss it, even though I looked up high at the rocks, expecting the cross there.

I have descended to search for bm437I  and I am looking back at bm437 in the distance, the cairn still visible.

Move the mouse over the picture to see where bm437 is located.
Bm437I was not found by Alain Laridon. With help of my gps I descend in a southern direction for 112 meters (according to the Procès-Verbal). No bm there but by systematically encircling that spot, I find bm437I!
Also at ± 112 meters from bm437 but more to the south-east. I'm delighted but the fact that it is painted black, proves that there's at least one person more who knows this location.
Having climbed back to the location of  bm437 and looking in the direction of bm437I

The best way to descend to bm438 is the most straighforward: just go down on your compass through the broom using cattle trails here and there. There's a country road down there (that's the second one, you'll cross another one first while traversing the broom).

Move the mouse over the picture to see where bm438 is approximately located.

In the forest beyond that country road - left to a meadow - you'll find bm438 on a large rock, say 20-30 meters from the road.
In fact bm438 is in between two tiny streams. Follow them downstream. They will merge and the stream enlarges while you pleasantly walk about 500 meters to find


By the way: another feat of advancing civilisation: electric fences along the border starting from bm349 on, which proves to be helpful rightaway.

At this point, go to the right. Follow the electric fence at your left hand, otherwise you might stray away from the border on a kind of track with a lot of stones. This fence wasn't there 3 years ago.

So following the fence at your left, the vague track (and stream sometimes) becomes a real track and fades away near bm440.
In between you'll easily find 439I,

bm439II and


Bm440 is actually 30-40 meters away from the fence.

From bm440: cross the meadow to the stream below, cross it and you'll find the pyramid-topped bm441. This one is a change from the massive bordermarkers we have seen seen from bm439 on.

The country road, a bit higher from bm441 and well visible from it, has to be followed untill it ends at a tarmac road. You'll find bm442 in between.

Follow the tarmac road untill you see at your left down the road bm443.

Descend straight down through that corridor to


Again the fence becomes useful -> cross the 'gate' beyond bm444 and follow the fence to the right, it becomes a cattle track which ends at a sandy country road. Continue on that road.

An irrigation canal is the border from bm444 on. You'll find bm446-447-448 at eithersides of the canal at a little distance right from the road.
However, bm445 is an exemption, standing at the north-side of that sandy road, strangely enough.

I descend to Yvrals and end my trip at the railway-station of La Tour de Carol, just before the gathering dark clouds burst out in rain, thunder and hail. Train to Puigcerda, back to my hotel.
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