Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Promenade: Gan to Bosdarros

And back again, of course. I think I walked about 7 kilometres, half of them fairly steeply up, but it felt good to walk. It rained this morning, and thunderstorms are forecast for the evening, but it wasn't too humid even at midday when I set out. I decided to walk at noon, partly because I'd spent most of the morning working at the computer, and partly because I knew that everyone else would be à table so there would be fewer cars on the road. I set out from Place de la Quillere and turned left and south on the Route d'Ossau.

Left again on the Chemin du Merce right after the big supermarket, Super U, at the edge of town, and over the Neez, one of the many small rivers/large streams that come down from the foothills of the Pyrénées; this one gets its start near Sévignacq-Meyracq. It flows by the house where I'm living, too, between this plot of land and the Marbrerie du Neez, where they've been quarrying and cutting stone (marble and granite, traditionally) for over a century. At this end of town, or rather on the way out of town, it goes by cornfields.

The corn goes to feed the cows, mostly, though I expect there are people feeding corn to their geese and ducks and chickens, too. For all that this is an area famous for its sheep's-milk cheese, I haven't seen any sheep around here yet. But I think they're probably all in pastures much higher up. Although I did go higher up it was through more wooded areas; maybe there were pastures on the other side of the ridge.

Left again on the Chemin de Benacq and the start of the climb up the ridge. I was glad of the trees, because the sun was hot when it came out from between the clouds. There were birds singing but not as many or as varied as along the Loire, where there were always songbirds. Here it seems to be mostly pigeons and crows (and vultures) with sparrows and suchlike, but I haven't heard anything that matches the long warbling melodies I enjoyed farther north. I'd say that all the birds have migrated south for the winter, but I am south. Maybe they kept going over the Spanish border. That's a little too far for me to walk, at least until I get back into shape.

No pastures, but vineyards between the cornfields and the woods. I don't know if they've harvested the grapes yet for the sweet or dry Jurançon wines made in this region. There's a winemaker not too far away - I passed the sign lower down for the domaine even before I got into the cornfields - and I will be contacting them to see if they would be interested in some free labor after the first of the year. I'm looking forward to working in the meat industry this fall, but I'd like to also see what goes into winemaking.

There are a few houses scattered along the road, most of them looking fairly new. One family was enjoying a lunch of something that smelled really, really good, and I could hear the clinking of silverware on plates from every house I passed, and bits of conversation.

By the time I got to the sign marking the official edge of the village of Bosdarros, I was hot and tired, and I could see that it would require even more climbing to get up and over the top of the ridge to the center of town. And that the center of town was probably downslope on the other side, which would mean that I'd have to climb up again to go back home. I decided that the official edge was good enough for today, and that making it all the way into Bosdarros would be a goal for a future walk. There's a way to loop back around across the top of the ridgeline back to the north end of Gan, too, but it involves walking along a stretch of narrow winding road that Christine says is fairly unsafe for pedestrians and cars, and that people tend to drive really fast around the corners. That doesn't sound very appealing, but there might be hiking paths that avoid the worst of it.

There is a hiking path to Bosdarros that I'll probably take next time. I didn't see the sign until I was on my way back at the bottom of the hill. Apparently this is the shorter but steeper way to go, and I'll give it a try on some other sunny day.

No comments:

Post a Comment