After a very long drive all the way from Portugal we arrived in Hasparren, the green grass, trees and crisp air a world away from the stifling heat and dust in Portugal. That evening myself, Paco, his parents Brian and Solange and their lovely friends Pontxoa and Martine with whom we were staying all tucked into an incredible dinner. Wine, melon, bread and pate and confit of duck. (One thing I learnt this summer – the French know how to eat!) Stomach full, I sat looking out across the hills, trying to follow the conversation with my school french before collapsing into bed.
We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, packed up the caravan and set off. After buying in the supplies at the supermarket we went to watch an outdoor show by the fantastic theatre company Le Royale Deluxe. The show was a blow-your-mind spectacle of costume, setting, pyrotechnics and slapstick comedy – a very surreal but brilliant start to the hiking trip.
The next two and a half days we spent surrounded by stunning views, waking up to blue skies but by 4 in the afternoon, desperately trying to pitch the tents to escape heavy rain, thunder and lightening. The sore shoulders and blistered feet were definitely worth it, even if just for the one night with the tent pitched by the side of a mountain lake with not another soul insight.