Pamplona - Isaba (Valle de Bellagua y Roncal)


08/08/2011: Larraitz - Lizarrusti (Parque Nacional de Aralar) - Pamplona (433 m): 86 km

This morning we moved again to the parking on the bottom of the village of Larraitz and started our hike tour up the mountain of Txindoki but it started to rain so we turned around and drove to Lizarrusti. After lunch we walked to the Laredo Lake (1,5 Std. 6 km) -this time we were lucky and had no rain! Drive to Pamplona and stop at the Decathlon where we bought new hiking poles for Julia. Parking and overnight stay at the parking lot northwest of the city wall (N 42º49.328” - W 1º38.904). After getting some things done it was almost 19:00 h and we started touring the local tapas bars on San Nicolás street and really enjoyed again these special pintxos.

09/08/2011: Pamplona (433 m) - Isaba Camping (930 m) - Valle de Belagua on West Spanish Pyrenees): 105 km

This morning we had a typical Pamplonean breakfast at Café Garcia (the owners are Chinese or so). We walked to the citadel and then stopped at the market place where we did some grocery shopping before going back to our camper. Drive to Isaba on the Bellagua Valley with a stop at awesome Canyon of Arbayún on the West Pyrenees in Spain and settled on the Camping Asolaze 6 km North of Isaba (15 € total per night without electricity - not a very nice camping site for motor caravans as it has no real infrastructure for them. (N 42º54.069´ - W 0º53.003´). First we wanted to do a barbecue but there was so much wind and especially gusts that we decided to have Julias special spaghetti with bolognese sauce -with red wine- instead, which made us pretty lazy for the whole afternoon.

10/08/2011: Isaba - Puerto de Larrau (Border Spain/France) 1575 m: 58 km

Drive up to the Refugio de Belagua -which unfortunately is a ruin since 2005- and hiked the beautiful Camino de Zemeto (2 hours 4,5 km) through a canyon and then with spectacular panoramic views over the Belagua valley. Also we were able to see a lot of vultures (Griffin and Egyptian) during our walk. Then we drove to Isaba and after exploring the village we drove the Salazar Valley further west up to the Spanish-French border at Puerto de Larrau. Our driver’s cab is on French territory and right now we are sitting on the Spanish side. We really have wonderful views from here.  (N 42º58.447’ - W 0º59.619’)

Pamplona: After having a coffee at Café Iruña we had fun trying the pintxos of various tapas bars!

Pamplona: There is something strange we discovered on the balconies of the houses along the city wall: curious “theme suitcases”

Foz de Arbayún is located east of Pamplona. Many Griffin Vultures live and breed in this canyon.

Valle del Roncal, West Pyrenees

Camino de Zemeto: Our first real hike from Refugio Belagua at Valle Belagua. Since 2005 the refugio is unfortunately closed and almost a ruin.

Here we are at the pass right on the border between Spain and France south of Larrau. Isn’t the view from our motor caravan amazing? It feels like if we would have illuminated pictures on the wall. And, of course, we finally were able to have our lamb BBQ with red wine.