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Crossing the French-Spanish Pyrenees border by 4×4

Back into the village of St. Étienne-de-Baïgorry for supplies: fresh baguette, cafe au lait and pain au chocolat while our American clients bought a gateaux Basque for our elevenses.

Stocked up for the day, we headed south through the forest to the Roncevaux Pass where a battle between the Napoleonic and Anglo-Portuguese armies took place 205 years ago to the day.

We joined the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, the pilgrim route from Pau to Galicia, passing many heavily laden walkers on the way and one Spanish stallion in the mist!

We drove the broken asphalt track to rise above the clouds, revealing stunning views of the valleys below.

At an altitude of 4769 feet (1566 metres) we stopped at Ortzanzurieta which is marked by an unusual plaque!

Dangerousroads.org mentions this route as one of the world’s most spectacular roads.

Our descent took us back onto the Camino de Santiago de Compostella and the low lying cloud where we were met by ghostly figures in the mist.

Before long, our route took us further afield and through rougher terrain. Only cows with bells on kept the hills alive with the sound of music!

Our route broke through the mist onto challenging tracks, pitted with washouts and steep descents. The Land Rover Defender coped well with the rough terrain.

The foundry and munitions factory at Orbaizieta provided an insight into local history and how the iron ore, wood and plentiful water supply was beneficial to the area. It also provided a welcome chance for us to stretch our legs.

Our final route of the day provided lush woodland tracks before our descent along hairpin bends into Ochagavía.

Camping Osate in this beautiful village is our rest stop for the night.

Buena Salud/Cheers!

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