I remember well how I was guided in 2009 by Jean Iglesias from Coustouges to the remote and hard to access bm542 (see this page). I visited since then the area many times. And ten years later, it’s me who performed as a guide. Yesterday, I took Carlos and Conchita Roca (see their website) into the forest and down steep hillsides to the range bm536-542. Especially bm536 and 542 are not easy to reach and in their approach and return demanding. The last one was bm542 along the Rio Major. And that’s where Carlos learnt me how to tackle the last meters to the bordercross by skillfully climbing a rock in between while Conchita gave directions.
All went well and my ‘clients’ were delighted to have covered this gap in their collection from Andorra to the Mediterranean. And I was content with their cheerful company and their perseverance. At the foot of bm542 a portrait of us three.
On september 11th, I returned to bm542, starting from the hamlet of Can d’Amunt. It’s one of the most difficult to find bordermarkers along the esfr-borderline. I was impressed how trails and waymarks are getting vaguer and undergrowth becoming denser since I visited this bm for the first time in 2009, guided by Jean Iglesias. Though there is a direct descent possible from approximately bm541 (I did that last year), I found that route now too difficult because of the undergrowth.
I followed once againg the “route normal” of Jean Iglesias, establishing new waypoints and clearing the trails by cutting them back here & there and placing some cairns. Hoping to facilitate your journey to bm542.
Found on the internet: a newspaper article on the yearly survey in 2012 of the bordermarkers near Coustouges in the eastern Pyrenees. I have fond memories of the rough and mediterranean landscape south of Coustouges. Dense forests, steep hills and deep canyons. Two of the most difficult bordermarkers to find are located in this area: bm536 and bm542.
I was grafeful to meet the friendly and hospitable Jean Iglesias of Coustouges, a local expert on the bordermarkers. Without his help, I wouldn’t have found those bordermarkers.
And he’s still ‘live & kicking’ as the bordermarker-guide for these surveys. I immediately recognized him in the party of surveyors.