The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- saturday 1 june 2013 -

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Summary: a seven-days trip with Jan-Willem with a lot of targets in the Basque country and around Llivia.

Day 2: two trips:
- nr. 1 to bm145-146
- nr. 2 to bm137-138

Weather: dry in the valleys, foggy & rainy on the hills
Trip 1

A revisit of bm145 and 146 to check and photograph recently discovered features.

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

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

According to visugpx

- distance :  2.4 km
- cum. elevation gain :  161 m
- cum. elevation loss :  158 m
- total elevation: 319 m

- altitude maxi :  1012m
- altitude mini : 843m
- altitude average :  912m

We drive via Urepel  on a shepherds mountain road into the hills. It's foggy-rainy-windy.

From our parking spot, we walk in the direction of bm145, pick up a trail that brings us to the cabin, 40m E of bm145.

Bm145 is easy to find at the N-side of the dirtroad coming from the cabin.
Our main target is however the recently uncovered rock (by Jacques Koleck) besides it.
It contains a cross (already known) AND the number 145 and part of the rectangle around it.

That's what Jacques discovered: the number and rectangle.
This could be the original bm145 and it has been painted yellow recently
On our way to bm146 we try another route: we climb further on the dirtroad to the tarmac road.

Then we try to go directly over the hillside to bm146. But because of the fog (and being too lazy to look at my gps or use a compass), we actually make a large detour .
Besides the current pillar bm146, there's the base of a former pillar 146, so it seems.
But at bm146, our main target is the number 146 on a rock ± 15m to the W. I got a picture of Javier Martínez Ruiz of it.
It's still there (and also painted yellow) and there's also a cross engraved.
Both crosses - 145 and 146 - raise the same question about what was first: pillar or cross. If we read the original treaty (1859) it strongly suggests that they were meant to be pillars. We have to remember that there was a previous border-agreemeent in 1785 describing the same straight 2 lines between the current bm130  and bm153. The 'abornement'  from 1785 was more elaborate: 45 bordermarkers, all considered to be lost. But perhaps these two crosses are remnants of that previous delimitation and supplemented with the numbers of 1859. See the history-page.
Trip 2

From the venta (lunch-break) near bm137, an exploration of direct routes from bm137 to 139.

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

For explanation of the gps-coordinates and other cartographic backgrounds:
cartography page
According to visugpx

- distance :  3,4 km
- cum. elevation gain : 122 m
- cum. elevation loss :  121 m
- total elevation: 243 m

- altitude maxi : 755 m
- altitude mini : 636 m
- altitude average : 704m

First a revisit of bm137


At first it seems that the hillside towards bm138 is too steep with too much brambles.

A stream SW below the venta seems also too steep to follow. But later we will find out that that stream is a direct connection to bm13.

But we descend first along the tarmac road until a gate at our righthand, passing through it. We contine on a dirtroad  to the right of a farmhouse which brings us finally to

Some 40m further, the dirtroad passes a stream.

Bm138, looking to where we came from.

If you go beyond that stream, there's another  - larger -stream, now swollen through the rainfall of the last days. I cross that stream to see where the trail leads to. But it disappears in an semi-open space with large trees.
But I assume that's the way  to bm139: first W of the stream (=SE), then SSE to bm139. Tomorrow we will learn that there's a better route from bm138 to 139.

We also descend the meadow SE of bm138 but a sturdy fence prevents further descent into the forest and time is running short.

Then we decide to climb back from bm138 along the little stream (E of it) and that bring us on a sort of trail to this point.

That's where the trail crosses a smaller stream coming from the right from above.  The venta is already in sight.

We first continue straight on but the trail fades away though continuing to the venta is not impossible. But we return to this point.

In between we spot 2 or 3 markers like this one, their function/origin unknown. They are not on the borderline.
Along that smaller stream we climb on the grasshill towards the venta.

We see Jan-Willem struggling uphill. He suffers from vertigo and strongly recommends - when going from bm137 to 138 - to use the tarmac road/dirtroad to bm138 as we did.

We reach a trail  which can either bring you to the tarmac road closeby or - to the left -  to underneath the venta and close to bm137.
So - in the opposite direction starting from bm137 - my directions are:

- first descend to the small stream which starts ± 30m E of bm137
- follow it in its descent SW
- when it approaches a larger stream, you will get to a trail along it
- descend along that trail which goes SE
- until you reach the dirtroad with bm138

This picture: at the left you see the origing of the small stream which passes underneath this grassy road and reappears to descend SW
But there's an alternative access to the 'little stream': from the tarmac road, a few meters beyond the first electricity pole.

Jan-Willem points to it.
So we have two access-points to the 'little stream'.

This is the first one
and this is the second.
Tomorrow we will investigate the route between 138 and 139. And that will result in this map of the suggested direct route between bm137 and 139.

I know that there are (at least) two submarkers of bm136 above the venta.

This one is the lower one and a short climb from the road. I didn't find any engraving.

There's a second one up in the middle of the meadow and in 2018 Corinne Gourgeonnet found a third one in the upper part.
This is an overview looking towards bm136 which is higher up in the forest
with this zoom-in with the locations of the three submarkers.
Back at the camping.
The river alongside the camping has swollen to a disturbing level.
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