Ha… les Pyrénées! The first thing I do everytime I come back in my hometown Pau, for holidays, is always to organise some trips to the Mountains. The majesty, the quietness, the tranquility of the Mountains is so relaxing. In today’s trip, we are heading with my parents and husband to the border of Spain, in the mountains surroundings of the Larrau village.We’ve been invited for lunch to my uncle’s cayolar (shepherd’s hut). It is really isolated. The magnificent sea of cloud invading the valley that morning made the trip even more interesting. 1h30 drive later (in between the main road and some unmarked rocky roads) and a 15min walk down a mountain hill into the mist, we are finally there.
We’ve been offered a fantastic lunch starting with Basque paté, cèpes with duck breast (magret de canard), sheep milk cheese and apple tart! I remember staying overnight in that hut many years ago and it’s just magical: it’s you and the sky. Never saw so many stars in my life than that night.
After good food and great company it is time to go. We stopped at the Logibar restaurant, a few minutes drive from the Larrau village and decide to take on the hiking trip to the famous Holzarte suspension bridge or la passerelle d’Holzarte. A quick ‘café ‘ and off we went to this 1h long hike into some beautiful landscapes. It is not a hard walk (although the path is not protected, it is quite wide): just make sure you wear some good shoes and don’t have a big lunch before you go like we did!
At the last corner, we have a great view of the impressive suspension bridge, 70m long, built in the early 1920’s entirely in wood, crossing two lime walls, 180m above the ground. Nowadays, the bridge has been reinforced by thick cable of steels on each side for obvious safety reasons. It doesn’t make the crossing easier for me though but looking straight ahead and feeling a bit like in Indiana Jones, I made it across. Twice…as you have to cross it again to come back home! It is really wobbly when you cross, especially when more than one person is on it. A sign at the front of the bridge warns than no more than 7 persons should cross at the time so make sure you follow this great advice.
It is a great adventure and experience. The best time to go will be late Spring to Autumn. It is never overcrowded so you can enjoy the walk even better. I hope you enjoy this little postcard from the Pyrénées.
Rendezvous en Français is Sandrine & Isabelle, two French natives sisters living in Sydney, who wants to share their country language, culture and lifestyle with all France enthousiasts. If you need any assistance to organise your next trip to France, Isabelle is your travel guide. And remember that French locals appreciate the effort of you talking French. If you need to learn a few basic and polite phrases, don’t hesitate to contact Sandrine for traveller classes.