The bordermarkers of the Pyrenees : all my trips
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- 12 september 2012 -
A fire helps

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Summary: part of a 2-weeks-trip to the Pyrenees with a lot of targets, most of them reconnaisances of routes for the GRPdesBF.

Day 15: before visiting Fort de Bellegarde, I discover that the extensive forest fires of july 2012 have exposed the slopes of the hill, revealing a direct route from bm573 to 574.
I do bm570-577, visit Fort de Bellegarde for the old bm569 and finish with redoing bm567-569.

Weather: cloudy
Trip 1

(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 : 4,9 km
- cum. elevation gain :  172m
- cum. elevation loss :  170m
- total elevation:  342m

- altitude maxi :  421m
- altitude mini :  234m
- altitude average :  334m

Yesterday I drove from Fos (visiting in between the medieval town of  St-Bertrand-de-Comminges) to camping Le Vallespir near Arles-sur-Tech.

Today will be the last day of my Pyrenees-trip. Main target: the old bm569 in the museum of Fort de Bellegarde.

I’m too early at Fort-de-Bellegarde and make a stroll to bm570.
To my surprise, the enormous fires of spring 2012 in Catalogne have reached as far as the Fort and the borderline.

That gives an unique opportunity: the maquis has burnt away leaving only blackened trees on the slopes.

This is a zoom-in of the previous picture showing bm571.

I miss my walking shoes and walking stick but the access to bm571, 572 and especially 573 is now easy and straightforward.

Bm572, which stands 20m to the NE
The underground is loose and somewhat slippery.

I'm heading to a rocky outcrop which is about 40m W of bm573 (and 25m higher).
Something becomes clear on this barren slope. There is a direct descent possible from bm573 to Le Perthus!

It looks not difficult when following a winding course down a sort of valley.
A view towards Le Perthus

I have reached the rocky outcrop, I descend on its N-side to the E
and soon reach - after 25m elevation loss and 40m walking - bm573.


I have descended a bit and then start to make the S-curve which brings me down to
this wall, close to the road.

It's some 10 meters up the slope from the road and is the spot where to reach the road (or start climbing to bm573).

From there it's 40m N to this parking-lot on the westside of the road.

In Le Perthus, I do of course bm574 to 577.
Bm574, looking to bm574bis (at the end of the dotted line).

You might be interested in the text on the tile.

Well, I did some digital enhancing on this close-up. Still not large enough for you: open it fullsize
Bm574bis, looking to bm574
Bm575, looking to bm574bis

This text also digital enhanced. Still not large enough for you: open it fullsize
Further N in the street: bm576

The borderline takes the street to the right and brings me to




Lunch-break in a cafe. Then back to Fort de Bellegarde.

I visit the - once glorious but now poorly maintained - premises. Some of the halls have become art galleries.

I liked this text: "Finding the secret passage which gives access to our own reality, the one which belongs to everyone: that's the labyrinth of life"

Mysterious, philosophical or meaningless? Make your pick.

This is the large inner court of the Fort.

A few rooms are dedicated to the local history.

This drawing shows both cols, seen from Spain.

And this drawing shows the monastery of Panissars in 1649, now gone

Another view of the inner court, now looking to the other side. The old bm569 stand at the far end.

In another room, I find this drawing: the Col de Pertus and Col de Panissar seen from France. They seem equally important.

Bm569 - the former one - is standing along a wall of the inner courtyard with no explanation whatsoever.

It’s larger than I thought and in good shape.
Bm569 - former one
Bm569 - former one. On its top the bend of the borderline engraved.
Bm569 - former one - backside.
After the museum-visit, I drive to the ruins of Panissars to complete this Le Perthus series with bm568, 567bis and 567.
B568, seen from far
Bm567bis, seen from far. Bm567 to the right.

This is the last picture of my 2-weeks-trip.

I drive back to Holland in one go, arriving there next morning very early.

previous trip