The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 15 may 2012 -
The most dangerous snake of France

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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 - accompanied by Jan-Willem Doomen- with daytrip-targets in the Basque country, near Fos and around Puigcerda.

Day 4: exploring a trail on the bm417-418-traject

Weather: beautiful with clear skies and fresh air
For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
see my cartography page

En route: 10.15 - 14.15 (4h)

According to the gps-tripteller:
Distance: 8,8 km
Cum. elevation gain: 561m
Total elevation: 1122m
Maximum height: 1680m
Time: 4.06h

According to visugpx

- distance: 7,7 km
- cum. elevation gain: 559m
- cum. elevation loss: 597m
- total elevation: 1156m

- altitude maxi: 1677m
- altitude mini: 1099m
- altitude average: 1421m

From beyond Refugio dere Honderia, a trip to Cabane le Plan.

Our goal: to see if there's a trail from that cabane descending E to the trail which leads from the Refugio to Mines Liat. I couldn't find such a trail on  20110830.

On the big map hanging against the Refugio, we see 'our' trail as part of a circular tour. The warden tells us that it is a (sparingly) blue waymarked trail leading to cq coming from a ruined funicular building, visible from below.

We drive a bit further and start hiking.

It's a lovely morning, the mountain ridges and slopes still covered with snow.

As expected, we find the branch of the main trail, leading up to the funicular-building.

You can spot that building on the edge of the hill.
The blue waymarks are too scarse but luckily there are cairns to help us.

On our way up and - later - down, we improve the cairns and create a number of new ones.

Jan-Willem arriving at the plateau. In the far distance you see that intriguing ledge that might be a shortcut to bm418 & 419.
And on this picture the ruined funicular-building, once part of a funicular to the mines of Liat.

(photo by Jan-Willem)
We take a lunch-break at the cabane (150m SW of the funicular-building).

There's a water-bassin near the funicular-building with a waterhose-supply but I doubt if that's still running in the summer.

From the cabane we enjoy the tranquillity and splendid views. Then back to our car along the same route.

We spot a snake on our trail and make pictures.

It glides to the side of the trail and remains there, hissing at us.
A few days later we will learn (from Rob Veen of the marvellous Nature Education & Awareness Center Tigouleix) that this is an 'aspic viper', the most venemous snake of France.

An untreated bite can be fatal.....

(photo by Jan-Willem)
Then we drive to the Cerdagne, to a camping near Targasonne along the Llivia-border.
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