On 25 may 2014 we (Jan-Willem Doomen and I) met finally Jesús Murueta Goikoetxea, aka ‘Murgoi’. Our meeting place was appropiate: in the Basque country on a borderbridge between Hendaye and Irún.
Murgoi undertook countless trips in the years 2000-2003 to find and photograph all the esfr-bordermarkers of the Basque country (no. 1-272). He compiled “the Murgoi files” giving each bordermarker its own page with descriptions, directions and pictures. See this post for more information and a link to download the Murgoi-files.
Together we spent a very pleasant afternoon, visiting Col de Lizarrieta and redoing the bordermarkers bm044-045 with its many submarkers.
Well, it’s a nightmare for Jesús Murueta. He has ‘done’ the esfr-bordermarkers 1-272 in the years 2000-2003, finding all these bordermarkers or getting an old picture of the few markers which are are lost. See this post for his story and to download his extensive account.
There’s one exception: bm271bis. It was a bordercross on the isolated and rough ridge of Añelarra near Pic d’Anie. It has long been reported (on the French topographic maps) as being destroyed and no one in the last decennia has found any trace of it and we have NO old pictures. This keeps haunting Jesus Murueta: a picture would fulfill his bordermarker-quest. Who can help him?
But there’s an important question: what was in fact the location of bm271bis? The esfr-border follows in this part of the karst-plateau a a zigzag-line with a straight part on the Añelarra-ridge for a few hundred meters.Let’s show it on this Google-Earth map:
The Añelarra-ridge has two summits. Bm271 is at the western summit and nowadays we find a geodesic marker of Navarra, close to it (with D.F.N. on it = Diputación Foral de Navarra). That makes sense. The second summit is at ± 240m to the east and could make a logical location for bm271bis. Here we find today an iron plaque with the contour of Navarra and a large cairn.
But the topographical and historical evidence is different! The original treaty says that bm271bis is 360 meters from bm271 on the same ridge. But we have to acknowledge that the distances between the previous bordermarkers 262-271 – as mentioned in the treaty – are often unreliable.
The location of bm271bis on the IGN-maps is ± 310m from bm271 when following the ridge. And that position makes more sense. The ridge descends and bends slowly in the direction of Pic d’Anie. It’s a logical/natural place for the borderline to bend southwards and descend towards Col d’Anaye. Let’s zoom in:
I have to return and do a new search, now focussed on the lower half of the red circle. The upper half and center of the circle, I searched thoroughly on this trip.
I was very happy to receive 344 individual pages (digital) by Jesús Murueta Goikoetxea, also known as ‘Murgoi’ of ‘El Canadiense’. See this post.
I made a Pdf-file of it and called it “The Murgoi-files”. You can read/download it with this link. (it’s a LARGE file: 280mb! Downloading will take time)
They are the accounts of his countless trips undertaken in the years 2000-2003 to find and photograph all the esfr-bordermarkers of the Basque country (no. 1-272). Each bordermarker has its own page and consists of handwritten and typed descriptions, directions and pictures. Part of the pictures are his, others come from other sources. Besides this, there are many maps.
Jesús Murueta Goikoetxea is a native of Bilbao but lives since long in Canada. He returned many times to visit family & friends and to fulfill his dream: this project. Now -being in his seventies – he’s more than happy to share his collection and experiences.
NOTE: you are free to use any information and pictures in these files but always pay respect to Murgoi by referring to him as the source.
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.