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Pessarou - Itxassour - Saint Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles - Trois-Villes - Arreau

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Ferme Lirette where we stayed overnight

01.08.2013 : Drive from Loulé to Salamanca (687 km)

02.08.2013 : Salamanca - San Sebastián (465 km)

03.08.2013 : San Sebastián - Biarritz Airport (57 km)

Flight to Brussels

06.08.2013 : - Biarritz - La Bastide-Clairence - Pessarou: 67 km - cloudy, later rain with thunderstorm

After our flight from Brussels, we found our motorhome well kept on P8 parking. The 3 nights cost 34,80€. Grocery shopping at Intermarché. We tried to get a space at the motor caravan area in Biarritz but at 14:30 there was no space anymore. So we drove to La Bastide-Clairence and further to Pessarou where we found a space at the farm “La Ferme Lirette” pertaining to The Club “France Passion”.  N43º24.446’ - W1º11.499’

07.08.2013 : La Bastide-Clairence - Itxassour - Saint Jean Pied de Port: 77 km - heavy showers

After buying some cheese in front of La Ferme Lirette we drove through La Bastide-Clairence and actually wanted to visit this little gracious town. But there was so much rain that we decided to leave this for the next time. We were headed to Espelette, but in Itxassou we decided on the spot to do a rafting tour with “Evasion” on the Nive River. Julia thought that was the best idea as it was raining it wouldn’t make any difference getting water from above as well. So we went on rafts where we were 7-8 people (28€ pax). Drive to Saint Jean Pied de Port where we luckily found a space. After a coffee and a short siesta we went into town and had a beer before watching a movie at home (Ruby spark) - N43º9’55” - W 1º13’59”

08.08.2013 : Saint Jean Pied de Port - Roncevalles (957 m): 25 km - heavy showers

Grocery shopping at Carrefour Market just by our motor caravan area. We then drove south and entered Spain in Navarra, driving up to the Puerto de Ibañez where there is a famous stone monument to Roland. The weather was not inviting to do anything but we took all our courage and did a short hike (Julia 2 hours, Volker 3,5 hours 15 km) up to a hill where there are some megalithic monuments. Drive to Roncesvalles where the Santiago de Compostela pilgrims who start in Saint Jean Pied de Port have their first overnight stop. Overnight on the parking lot behind the abbey. N43º0.5471’ - W1º19.1185’

09.08.2013 : Roncevalles - Chalet - Trois-Villes: 106 km - mist, some rain, some sunshine

When we woke up this morning we were surrounded by mist again. We drove down to Saint Jean Pied de Port and continued to Col Saint Sauveur, then Col de Burdincurucheta (1135m) and down to “Chalets Pedro” or “Iraty-Cize” which is very nice plateau with a lagoon, a restaurant and a great official motor caravan area (5€/24h). This is in the area of the Iraty Forest. We turned west and drove to Col de Sourzay where we took the walk to see the cromlechs d’Occabe (1,5 hours, 180m elevation). It was completely foggy up there but it was very interesting nevertheless. On our way back we stopped at Iraty Cize and had lunch on the motor caravan area. Then we drove to Col Bagarguiak and Col Organbideska until Larrau. Then to Trois-Villes where we met with our friends Florence and Xavier. After a cidre we took our bicycles and drove to Tardets where we had a bask beer and finally free wifi at the Bar Ostatüa on the main square. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner with good wines, all prepared by our friends. Overnight in the yard of their house.

10.08.2013 : Trois-Villes - Arreau (± 700 m): 182 km - sunny, warm 25ºC

After enjoying a breakfast with our friends we left at 10 am and went again to the Bar Ostatüa with our computer to answer our emails with their wifi. We then drove to Oloron Ste Marie where we bought some outdoor gear at LeClerc Sport. We then took the motorway from Pau to further from Tarbes and drove down to Arrau with an excursion to Gouffre d’Esparros, driving through a very lush valley. In Arreau we stayed at the same motor caravan area as two years ago (still 2€ per night) and went for a walk into town, had a cidre at “Le Londres”, and walked up to the lookout. N42º54.444’ - E0º21.561’

Pessarou (La Bastide-Clairence) - Itxassour

Cheese manufacture across the farm

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Typical pattern for table cloth etc.

The stone monument to Roland lost its sword

This picture was shot when there were
5 minutes with less rain and mist

Loop hike from Puerto de Ibañeta to Roncesvalles

Silos of Charlemagne

Roland has lost the battle

Roncesvalles is the first stop for the Compostela pilgrilms, they still have a long way to go...

Cromlechs and dolmens

We had lunch with our new bask table cloth on this idyllic place

Visiting our friends Florence and Xavier

We enjoyed a delicious dinner they prepared for us



Driving through a lush valley over the Col de Coupe to the Gouffre d’Esparros


Our hike to Barrancoueu

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