Javier Martinez Ruiz informed me of a devastating fire on 20-21 February 2021 along the borderridge in the Basque country between bm001 and La Rhune. See also this news-article
He sent me some pictures and comparing them with my pictures of June 2020, you can see the destruction.
This is a picture of mine of bm002 from June 2020.
And this how Javier found the terrain back.
And this is bm008 in perfect order in June 2020.
And this how bm008 looked right after the fire. We see a damaged marker but Javier is not 100% sure that it is caused by the fire. But shortly before, it was still in good shape.
I’m reluctant to say it but for us, as border-enthusiasts, such a fire offers also opportunities as I experienced on 12-9-2012 at the other side of the Pyrenees. An impenetrable maquis-terrain burnt to the ground and could be easily explored afterwards.,,,
By the way: Javier is a remarkable man. Living in Irùn, he published in 1995 a profound study of the bordermarkers 1-196 (see my literature-list, Javier agreed to make it accessible as a pdf-download). He still visits every single year almost every bordermarker from 1 to 235.
Shortly after the previous post, Javier Martínez Ruiz surprised me with the pictures of his exploration in 2007 of this cemetery of the bordermarkers 75 and 76. At that time, these abandoned borderstones were far more visible than now. And there were even two pillars 75, all bordermarkers apparently pushed down the hill by vandals.
Bm092 has been in a horizontal position since years, close to a bordercross. See this webpage. But on april 24th 2013 bm-explorer Javier Martínez Ruiz (see this page) discovered that it was reinstalled. And he kindly sent this picture.
Javier Martínez Ruiz is an expert on the Basque bordermarkers, his knowledge brought together in his encyclopedic article “Los mojones internacionales desde Biriatou hasta Arneguy” (see my literature-list). Recently he re-visited bm141 to 148, primarily to visit bm145 because of the amazing discovery of Jacques Koleck (see previous post).
But he also remembered that there’s a number 146, engraved in a rock close to bm146.
And he sent me two pictures from which I made this compilation. This rock is ± 15 meters west of bm416 and it seems if only the number is engraved, no cross.
More and more I encounter names of Basques, keen on finding and photographing their share of the bordermarkers of the Pyrenees. And that’s the range from bm001 to bm272 and that amounts to 40% of all esfr-bordermarkers!
Carlos Sanz and Iñaki Vigor have even described a 206km-trail along those range in their “Travesía de los Mugarris”. And Javier Martínez Ruiz from Irún has visited the 1-235 range for many years and wrote a large article on them (see for both publications my literature-page). And there are several photo-sites, focussing on the Basque bordermarkers: see my links-page.
But other searchers have hardly left their trace on the internet, often you can’t even find an email adress to ask a question. Apparently they have stored their pictures and information in paper albums, understandable in the pre-internet era but now perhaps gathering dust forever. Sharing is fun & enrichment and so easy on the internet.
I’d love to get into contact with for example: Carlos Bardeci from Bilbao and Jesús Murueta, also from Bilbao but currently living in Toronto and known as “El canadiense”. Both names mentioned by Sanz & Vigor as being sources for their book, having found nearly all the Basque bordermarkers.