Thanks to information of Serge Poncet I learned that on the mountain-top of Querroig four submarkers of bm597 will be engraved (if the proposal will be approved by the “Commission mixte Franco-Espagnole”). Why? Apparently there were groundworks scheduled around the ruins of the former castle which could change the watershed and therefore the borderline.
In 2014 a team of officials made a reconnaissance of the terrain and marked the four rocks where the bordercrosses could be engraved when the project will be approved. I don’t know when that will be. In their report they list the coordinates which makes locating them on Google Earth easy.
The rocks in question were provisory marked with yellow paint crosses and spots. Like this one (bm597c):
Update 2017 or 2018: according to Serge Poncet, the project has been abandoned due to the estimated high costs.
Serge Poncet did an amazing discovery in november 2015. The nice weather permitted him to do a hike to Coll de Núria where bm508 is to be found. That is to say: the remnants of it and that means that only the engraved cross is left. Its position (conform the Treaty) and the resemblance with the other bordercrosses in this area made a positive identification possible. Nothing was left of the number, however.
But Serge brushed away the loose grit and stone around the cross and he found an engraved 8! Thus proving that this is really bm508.
And let’s show the spot of that 8 on a picture of mine:
I was honoured to be invited on 12 april 2014 by Serge and Martine Poncet for an informal meeting of ‘bordermen’ or – mockingly in French – ‘bornés’ (freely translated as: stubborn on bordermarkers) who share a passion for the Pyrenean bordermarkers. Even a news-reporter was invited who wrote this article for the L’Indépendant-newspaper:
I felt happy to meet (again) Serge and Martine Poncet, Charles & Josette Darrieu, Alain Laridon, Cayetano and Jean & Carmen Iglesias while enjoying a delicious catalan-style meal. In the après-diner, I was lucky to sit in between the laptops of Serge and Charles, watching their pictures and listen to their stories, both testimonies of our shared passion.
Serge Poncet sent me some pictures in november 2013 of the maintenance work on bm545 and 546. The vandalized bm545 was neatly painted over in white. Bm546 – hanging dangerously at the steep roadside – got a sturdy fundament. Bravo for honoring these historic monuments. I’m curious who are the ‘actors’ and which are the rules in this proces of surveying and deciding and implementation.
What we know is that each year a bordermarker-survey is done near Coustouges, involving the communicipalities at both side of the border. I found this picture in the newspaper “l’Independant” of 19 june 2013. Jean Iglesias is still ‘alive and kicking’ as the guide of the party.
Bm602 – the last bordermarker – is hidden in a cave at the mediterranean coast and can only be visited by boat. On 21 may 2011 we hired a boat & sailor to get there and I know that Charles & Josette Darrieu did the same.
I was surprised to learn from Serge Poncet that you can also peddle in a kayak to the cave. If the sea is calm, it can be easily done, so it seems. Serge hired a 2-persons kayak from the ‘Centre de Plongée de Cerbère’ (25€ for a half day) and peddled with his wife to the cave.
Serge Poncet is since 2011 passionate about the Pyrenean bordermarkers. He has almost ‘done’ all the bordermarkers east of Andorra and will continue in the Basque country next year. He has served in the French mountain army forces and he wrote me that he is capable of long, long mountain trips. I think we can expect a lot more of him.