Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 29 June 2013

Saturday 29 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 15 - Lescun

We walked about 3 km today, with minimal ascent - basically a couple of trips to a table d'orientation kiosk.                               

Weather: sunny

A lovely warm rest day in Lescun. 

Our last breakfast with John and Paul was savoured, before the two heroes set off on the next stage of their 'Tour Aventure' adventure - to Etsaut.

We had a lazy day, with a couple of trips along to the 'kiosk' and its fine view over the village of Lescun to its eponymous cirque (pictured).

A chat with the owners of the excellent gite - Maison de la Montagne - helped us to plan our route for the next four days. Axe and crampons are advised for the 2185 metre Col d'Ayous, between Etsaut and Gabas, and the 2465 metre Hourquette d'Arre after Gabas, so we've devised an alternative that also requires the day before those sections (ie tomorrow) to be changed. The changes make for a good compromise, albeit involving a tad of road walking. Gourette to Arrens-Marsous on GR10 is no problem, but we'll have to assess the viability of the next section to Cauterets when we reach Arrens-Marsous. 

We aim to stay safe. The scenery will be wonderful regardless of the route taken if this weather holds. 

Also, Jill W has kindly informed us that the Oasis gite at Barèges is due to reopen on Monday, so we have been able to book it for 8 July, though we aren't looking forward to the scene of devastation that will await us there. Jill's information,  and that from Nick and others has been very helpful and is much appreciated. Thank you. 

Dinner was in the local restaurant, just down the road, the Bar des Bergers. A nice meal, similar to last night's at the gite, featuring the usual 'garbure' (vegetable soup, sometimes with ham) and confit of duck, a local favourite featuring slowly cooked duck legs.

We didn't see much of any other HRP or GR10 walkers, apart from one misguided chap who thought the HRP was easier on the knees. He hasn't come to the boulder fields yet, and our experience indicates that both routes average about 1000 metres of ascent a day.  I agreed to differ; he was unwaveringly correct. I doubt we'll meet again. 

(I may of course be completely wrong - it wouldn't be the first time!)

I've failed miserably to catch up with other people's blogs. Never mind.  We did however catch sight of the Tour de France stage finish in Corsica. It looked really strange...

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Occasional Pyrenean Flowers (4)

Yesterday we enjoyed passing massive clumps of this milkwort, probably the common 'Mountain Milkwort' (Polygala alpestris) variety. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Friday 28 June 2013

Friday 28 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 14 - Stage 11 - Arette-la Pierre-St-Martin to Lescun

Distance: 16 km (Cum: 209 km)      

Ascent: 500 metres (Cum: 10,840 metres)
Time taken: 7.75 hrs including 1.75 hrs stops                                     

Weather: fog, dissipating to 'cloud over France', with high peaks attracting their own cloud

At last, a wonderful mountain day with stunning views from a fine route.

Jean, Refuge Jeandel's eccentric but kindly guardian, gave out quite a bit of route information last night as we slurped our aperitifs. 

All fourteen of us at the Refuge, nine French and five English,  were walking GR10. Of the English, John decided on the taxi option, and he was joined by Roland and Marie, as well as Pierre's quartet.

The rest of us left, as advised by Jean, in a single international group. 

Luckily the mist immediately cleared, and we were able to follow the waymarks, more or less, for a while. It was slow going over limestone pavements choked with snow. Gilles demonstrated how to escape from a snow hole after plunging in up to his chest.

"Can you see me! " he kept shouting as the camera shutters clicked and he sunk slowly deeper. 

We went wrong, ascending to around 1920 metres when we should have stayed a good 100 metres lower. The waymarks had been hard to find as many were obscured by snow. A laborious descent over rough and steep ground saw us back on the path for good.

The wrong route did offer the bonus of some fine views, one of which is pictured above. 

We ascended to Pas de l'Osque up an easy scramble (thankfully free from snow) and spent a while there admiring the multitude of alpine flowers and the fine views in all directions. 

At 1922 metres this should have been the highest point of our trip to date, if we hadn't gone inadvertently higher a few minutes earlier. 

Before us lay the crux of today's walk, described our Cicerone guide as 'cross the bowl to the SE'. That was easier said than done as the steep scree across which the path traversed was inundated with snow. We later discovered that David and John's guide had them roped up for this section yesterday. 

We, however, had Gilles, who stamped his way across, making it easy (if a bit scary) for everyone else. François positively skipped across in her new crampons. She seemed oblivious to nearly tripping and stumbling and getting tangled in the long excesses of the straps.

We soon reached Pas d'Azuns (1873 metres), where the unmistakable profile of Pic du Midi d'Ossau came into intermittent view through swirling cloud, though Pic d'Anie dominated the immediate view. 

Lunch was savoured in this lofty spot where we were safe in the knowledge that there were no significant further difficulties to come. 

Gilles endeavoured to feed the choughs and ants with the remains of some cereal he had bought in Hendaye.  It can't have been very nice or he would surely have eaten it by now. 

The 'magnificent seven' then took a few self-timed pictures before disbanding and taking the easy and enjoyable path to Lescun at their own pace.  Five of us assembled for drinks at Refuge de Labérouat, about an hour above Lescun. They seemed to have just one booking, from Jean-Yves, tonight. We think they were going to pretend that they were full when he turned up, not wanting the hassle of catering for just one guest!

We ate with Stuart, and Pierre's family, at one of the village's gites, but we failed to find John and Paul.  We should see them tomorrow.

Our hotel, Hotel du Pic d'Anie, is a fine, wood panelled establishment, where we were greeted by an ancient lady called Matilda Carrafranq, whose family have owned the early 19th century hotel for five generations. Unfortunately she was unable to supply us with a Wifi code and every time we try to find someone we encounter a building with the ambience of the Marie Celeste, with ghostly voices in the background. 

We've heard from David that he and John have had to go home due to a foot problem.  That's a great shame. We enjoyed our week with them. Hopefully when they return there will be less snow and flooding and they will be able to enjoy the GR10 path from Lescun in all its glory. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Thursday 27 June 2013

Thursday 27 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 13 - Stage 10 - Pont d'Enfer to Arrete-la Pierre-St-Martin

Distance: 16 km (Cum: 193 km)      

Ascent: 1360 metres (Cum: 10,340 metres)
Time taken: 6.0 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: blue sky to start with, clouding over by 11 am, becoming the usual thick blanket with cloud base below 1800 metres by lunch time

We took our time over breakfast as Michel needed to dispose of all his other guests from the full hotel before taking us back to Pont d'Enfer. Luckily most of the guests were a group of French cyclists, so dealing with them was no more taxing than dealing with the sole German who didn't understand his bill.

Michel is an endurance fanatic. He has driven buggies in the Dakar Rally many times.  He demands respect for that. The hotel was great.  It has lots of circular walk and other opportunities, and would be a good place to spend a few nights. It was good to explore the village and listen to the swifts.

The church opposite the gite in Ste-Engrâce, with its wooden roof and stained glass windows, not to mention its expectant red kite, was dark inside.  As was the ravine that we soon found ourselves ascending - much like a half hour version of Lud's Church. We'd expected some mud, but today's paths over limestone all seemed well drained. 

Remnants of cast iron pipes gave away the route of a 1950s compressed air pipe to La Verna, further up the ravine. A visit to this site of a hydro electric scheme involves negotiating a 600 metre tunnel before reaching a huge cavern.  Worth a visit sometime, but not today as Sue had gone far ahead. 

Good paths through pleasantly cool woods with giant fungi and a lousewort not in our book, led to a fortuitous pause. Sue spotted a Ghost Orchid. We'd not seen one before.  She was a bit chuffed and left a big arrow for Roland and Marie, who we'd just passed. They saw the arrow, but  didn't understand it...

Soon we reached the ruined Cabane d'Escuret de Bas, with views back over our route and down to Ste-Engrâce. Pierre's team was ahead and Roland and Marie caught up. Whilst a bit cooler than in the trees, this was a great spot - at last we'd found a wonderful wild flower meadow in which to enjoy our cheese and tomato baguettes. 

This afternoon we continued past some delightful wild camping spots to a high col, before descending to Refuge Jeandel, where we have the same bed that we had on our last visit nine years ago. 

The alpine flowers hereabouts are wonderful. With the help of a newcomer to the group, Jean-Yves, Sue has tracked down a number of 'new sightings'. Apart from those, familiar snowbells and gentians have appeared, and whilst the vultures are still around, we have moved into an area where choughs are more common. 

On cresting the 1760 metre col, a very wintry scene greeted us, together with men carrying skis and snow shoes.  Oh dear!

There are fourteen of us here, all on GR10. Jacques and Julian have gone home, and Eric and his nephew Nicholas have continued to Lescun. Everyone else is part of the familiar group. 

It has been a very jolly evening despite some uncertainties about tomorrow.  The conditions are 'unusual' for the time of year. Some taxis have been ordered.  Bizarrely, François is the only one of us with crampons (albeit they are still in their box!).

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Occasional Pyrenean Flowers (3)

Today's coup is this Ghost Orchid. It doesn't look much but it's quite rare, and a new 'spot' for us.

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - A Problem

An email yesterday from Robert and Emma, owners of the Hotel du Tourmalet in the village of Bareges, brought home to us the dire straits of Bareges's residents, and some impending practical problems of our own. 

Here's an extract:

Hello Martin, 
I'm very sorry to have to let you know that unavoidably we will no
longer be able to accept your booking at the Hotel du Tourmalet
following the serious flooding that hit the Pyrenees last week. There
is currently no public access to Bareges, as the Tourmalet road and
many of the bridges in the upper valley have been badly damaged. The hotel itself has suffered some undermining of its foundations, and we are awaiting an expert opinion on whether it can be repaired, or if
the decision will be made to demolish. The important thing is that we are all safe and our family has been reunited, albeit in temporary accommodation.  
In terms of your holiday plans, I'm not sure that you will be able
to find accommodation in Bareges, as many of the businesses there
have been affected and the majority of the population has been
evacuated...... I am also not sure whether the standard GR10 route in
the Bareges valley will be accessible, as the bridge across the river to Viey has been destroyed. ...
The state of France has declared the damage to the Bareges valley to be a Natural Catastrophe. 
Once again, I am sorry that we have to bring you this bad news. 
With our deepest regret

Well, our hearts go out to all in Bareges, including Robert and Emma and their family, who so far as I am aware have spent several years renovating the hotel that may now need to be demolished.

And we thought we'd had bad weather! 

So far as I can see, the place we have booked in Cauterets is still taking bookings for the period we are there. This despite us being told that the town is cut off and being supplied by helicopter. 

Our two nights after Cauterets - in Luz-St-Sauveur and Bareges - look blighted.  We've heard that the Spanish side has also been affected - a Spanish route being a possible option. But we have no Spanish maps or guidebooks with us.

Something of a dilemma. Suggestions as to how to resolve it, perhaps by a route through Spain from before or after Cauterets, to after Bareges, would be most welcome (by email to

(Currently we will be charged a lot if we cancel our Cauterets booking.)

The photo was taken shortly after we set off from Hendaye, before the deluge.

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Wednesday 26 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 12 - Stage 9 - Logibar to Pont d'Enfer (staying in Montory)

Distance: 19 km (Cum: 177 km)     

Ascent: 1120 metres (Cum: 8980 metres)
Time taken: 6.75 hrs including 1 hr stops                                     

Weather: dark and cool under a leaden sky - cloud base 1200 to 1400 metres

The forecast 'blue sky' day didn't transpire. 

I've been busy with 'stuff' so here's a dictated version of Sue's diary entry:

Another day without waterproofs, but a cool 12 degrees at the high point, and the thick blanket of cloud lingers. Shorts all day but fleeces on and off. It had been a promising forecast, but we woke to cloud with faint blue patches. 

Packed before breakfast, so got away at 8.15, after trying to keep our belongings separate from those of François who had arrived at 6.50 pm last night, and had the fourth bunk in our room.   From Logibar, a circular walk of the Holzarté gorge can be done, and this was the path now followed by GR10.  The river was close by at the start, a torrent of steely blue water.

Flowers were also good, growing on the limestone crags.  An open section led to a superb suspension bridge, built by Italians over the woods and river a long way below. 

The track climbed gently and was wet and dark in places. Long slugs were the most prolific wildlife. Stuart, who we'd walked with up to the bridge, soon motored off.  At the top of the gorge the path did a switchback over a small bridge, then traversed an open hillside where my (Sue's) camera battery was further drained by the Rampion, Fragrant Orchids, Broomrape, etc. 

After a particularly wet section we climbed again before meeting the other path at Plateau d'Ardakhotchia. The cold wind prevented a stop there, but a little further up the hill we had half an hour in the lee of the wind.  Here we received an email from Bareges, to be referred to in a separate posting.  

From our vantage spot we watched Gilles climb up to us, then we all watched over twenty vultures wheeling about the sky - below there must have been some prey. 

The path continued to climb, then joined a track that, again, contoured around the hillside.  

(Sue is pictured here. )

The rocky wall next to the track was covered in flowers, notably a few dark pink orchids, a clump of Trumpet Gentians, Butterwort,  and Birds-eye Primrose.  We got a 'fly past' from vultures just above.

After passing some farm buildings, the path again climbed, past a clump of trees under which much Round-leaved Saxifrage was growing, then up to today's high point, Col d'Anhaou, at 1383 metres. 

Lunch was eaten just down the road - there was a good view, apart from it being cool, and blanketed in cloud!  (Really!  -Ed)

Much of the descent was on small roads and tracks, but grassy shortcuts were available.  There were also some sunken green lanes leading down, one coming out at an attractive gite, with several more immaculate gites in the vicinity. 

The 'pont' at Pont d'Enfer took us over a very blue river and up a steep lane to meet the road. Due to the GR10 gite at Ste-Engrâce (only 55 minutes walk onwards) being full, we had booked the Auberge de l'Étable at Montory, about 12 miles away by road. 

Our spirits rose as we saw a car park for the Kakuetta Gorge.  Our intention was to hitch, and a couple who were just returning to their car were duly accosted and agreed to take us as far as the road junction to Logibar as they were staying in St-Jean.  Luckily a second car stopped almost immediately. A couple from Paris with their grown up daughter.  They were staying on t coast but kindly went out of their way to deliver us to Montory village.  Aren't people kind.

Remarkably, after stopping walking at 3 pm we arrived in this small village at 3.30.  Being next to the shop, provisions were stocked up, and then we checked in to this Logis establishment.  Fortunately, the proprietor, Michel, speaks English so hopefully we can find a solution to the problem of getting back to today's finish point. As usual the washing is done. Now it's time for a beer.  (Pictured)

That's five minutes dictating and an hour editing!

Later: it's pleasantly warm down in the foothills in this pleasant village, and we've enjoyed an excellent meal.

That's all - I've had enough and I expect you have too.

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Tuesday 25 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 11 - Stage 8 - Col Bagargiak to Logibar

Distance: 17 km (Cum: 158 km)     

Ascent: 430 metres (Cum: 7860 metres)
Time taken: 5.75 hrs including 1 hr stops                                     

Weather: we started in cloud and finished in sunny periods

Although it wasn't raining, my jacket was needed at the start of today's walk, though by the end, after a very gradual transition, t-shirts and a yearning for a beer were the order of the day. 

The paths were excellent, with very little tarmac. Even before dispensing with anoraks and gloves, we noticed an 'improvement' in the flora. Butterwort and Round-leaved Saxifrage lined the banks of the narrow lane we set off down, and numerous species were observed during the course of the day. I think we must have moved into a limestone area.

The cloud has hung over nearby peaks all day, so although the local views have been fine (indeed, very pleasant) anything distant has been obscured. But it hasn't rained!

A troupe of 17 of us exchanged places a few times before settling down into a sort of running order. It's maybe like being on an Exodus or Explore trip with an incompetent leader. Eventually we all made it to Logibar, where some of us had booked accommodation and some hadn't. The auberge is full, and everyone seems to be here.

We are sharing an annexe with Stuart, who we found languishing outside the auberge, having been laid up for a day with a stomach bug. 

Pierre's party took their time, but I suspect his comment about his mother in law - "she's very noisy today" is good news and means that Chantal is managing well.

John and Paul are delighted with their room, which is a little more private than ours, from which we have had to evict some freeloading campers (they claim they had permission to use our en-suite as a public convenience, but we aren't so sure!)

Today's image shows Pierre leading his team past at our lunch stop beyond Cayolar Mendikotziague, not to be confused with the nearby Col du Middleraynerton.

Later: a half decent half board meal at the auberge has been consumed. Our room for four is now full. The auberge is full.  There is a big group of canyoners here as well.  François got the last bunk. There are now 17 GR10 people in our little group.  As already mentioned,  we picked up Stuart this evening - he has spent all day at Logibar with his tummy bug. Other new additions are  Gilles from south of Toulon, a refugee from the HRP who is going to Banyuls, Eric and Nicholas from near Paris who started yesterday from Estérençuby (just as well they missed the rain, judging by the look of their kit), and we now know the pair with the huge rucksacks with bits hanging off to be father and son, Jacques and Julian.

Ron (we are going back a few days - we didn't expect to hear of him again) is reported to be a day ahead, with John and David's contingent! 

Tomorrow - we will be straying from GR10 on a mini adventure. ..

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Occasional Pyrenean Flowers (2)

After yesterday's complaint about the flowers, today has brought a welcome improvement. 

This Lesser Butterfly Orchid seen beside this morning's path will no doubt be the first of many of that variety we will admire.

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Monday 24 June 2013

Monday 24 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 10 - Stage 7 - Kaskoleta to Col Bagargiak (Chalets d'Iraty)

Distance: 20 km (Cum: 141 km)      

Ascent: 1480 metres (Cum: 7430 metres)
Time taken: 7.25 hrs including 1.5 hrs stops                                     

Weather: heavy cloud, slowly clearing but returning later, with a cold NW wind - temperature as low as 4ºC before taking account of wind chill

We expected sunshine today, but woke to heavy black cloud, down to about 1200 metres. At least we got our first day without the need for waterproofs, but three layers of clothing and warm hats and gloves were the order of the day. 

The rustic gite provided breakfast from its fridge, with no sign of the guardian, who took our money last night. I think Pierre's team must have made the coffee, and they were thoughtful enough to make sufficient for the four lazy Brits, with Chantal restraining François from scavenging our baguettes! 

It wasn't the best breakfast ever, but it served its purpose. 

By 8.30 we were strolling up the road, admiring the remnants of the Spring Squill that carpeted the Apennines in April. The flowers on this trip have so far disappointed us, perhaps because of the nature of the soil, perhaps because of the late spring. We have observed quite a bit of Love-in-a-Mist, which is probably appropriate given the conditions. 

A man with two paint brushes was tarting up the waymarks at Col d'Ithurramburu. We stopped for a chat whilst he took a break from his red and white daubs. He shook his head when we told him we were heading for Luchon. "Too much snow" he claimed. However, he also expressed reservations about our ability to get to Iraty today. (We arrived here at 4 o'clock.)

We passed Roland and Marie, from Bayonne, who have been quietly in attendance since we started at Hendaye. Like Pierre and Yolaine they are aiming for Banyuls. 

John and Paul soon shot past with their day sacks, and we overhauled Pierre's Annecy contingent. 

Above Col d'Irau (Sue is pictured near here with a view back towards St Jean) we entered a zone of lovely stone waymarks. Stone circles and the remnants of old buildings were just visible in the mist. Skylarks tried to cheer us with their melodic song. The birds on this trip haven't disappointed - it's disappointing though not to be able to identify more of them. Today I'm sure we saw several different types of lark, but I can't say more than that. 

After visiting our highest point to date - the 1466 metre summit of Occabé - we headed down some revolting forestry tracks to Chalet Pedro. The old tracks have recently been gouged by huge tree trunks being dragged down them, leaving horrid muddy grooves. 

John and Paul were lunching at the bottom, where Simon, a new member of the cast, made a brief appearance. He's hoping to complete Georges Veron's version of the HRP. We may not see him again as he has continued beyond Iraty to camp. He looks well equipped, apart from his footwear.

Soup - a massive bowl - and hot chocolate went down well at Chalet Pedro, setting us up well for the last two hour ascent to Iraty, where we have a more than adequate room with two bunks and a scary notice about bed bugs. I'm itching at the thought!

Reception is 700 metres back down the road, and they didn't give us any shower tokens. This blow was resolved when Roland and Marie turned up and immediately (seeing Sue's distress) gave us one of their tokens. It gave enough time in the shower for both of us, and Roland and Marie were rewarded with a cup of tea. 

Of the thirteen of us who left Kaskoleta this morning, all* are now here and only François was absent from the restaurant at Iraty tonight - the rest of us were all, so far as I could see, tucking in to their €14 randonneurs' meal. Very tasty it was too.

*That's me and Sue, John and Paul, Pierre's team of four, Roland and Marie, François, and two men - possibly father and son - who appeared last night with huge packs, which are a puzzle to the rest of us. It's a pleasure to be on holiday with such a friendly group of people. 

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary

Sunday 23 June 2013

Sunday 23 June 2013 - Pyrenees GR10 - Day 9 - Stage 6/7 - St-John-Pied-de-Port to Kaskoleta

Distance: 18 km (Cum: 121 km)      

Ascent: 950 metres (Cum: 5950 metres)
Time taken: 5.5 hrs including 1.25 hrs stops                                     

Weather: cloudy with drizzle at times

It has happened before, and it'll happen again. Our rest day ended on a downbeat note when we discovered that Sue's new camera takes a different battery to mine. They look the same, but mine is thicker. So the charger doesn't work with Sue's battery. Neither of us checked. Duh!  Efforts to get Sue's charger sent to Lescun had not borne fruit when yesterday's posting was drafted, hence no mention then. Today, Julian Next Door and 'Stay at Home Hazel' (aka 'The Fixer') have come to the rescue. The charger will be posted to us tomorrow. In the meantime we will just have to share my camera when Sue's battery depletes.

This incident brought back memories of our Italian Border Route, when I thought I'd fried Sue's new i-pod in the heat of our first rest day.

We set off today in a light drizzle that came and went all day.

Mainly on country lanes, we steadily rose to Col d'Handiague (587 metres - not high enough for our heads to disturb the clouds). On the way we passed François, who has started her walk today.

Wheeling kites seem to be taking over from the vultures, but the latter were seen circling high above a nearby summit. 

Then we descended to Estérençuby, where John and Paul, a pair from Yorkshire who are having their luggage transported every day, were enjoying their lunch. On the way down we had passed Pierre and the lovely Yolaine, whose parents, Joel and Chantal, have now joined the party. Chantal is a real character and spent a while in Leigh - she should keep us entertained this week. 

Tea at the auberge in Estérençuby fortified us for the climb to Gite d'etape Kaskoleta, where John and Paul were installed.

The guardian was absent but had left details of the rooms which the pre-booked customers should occupy. Our name was not on the list. Others, also pre-booked, were not on the list. There is room for 14.


Meanwhile, Pierre and his family, pre-booked since February and allocated a room, sat outside in their down jackets (at 600 metres in the south of France) enjoying a beer (pictured).

We keep hearing about possible problems further east. Late snow could be blocking our way - that's been clear for some time - but now it seems that some of the places we plan to stay in have been subjected to flooding and may even have been washed away.  We'll find out in due course.  

Eventually the guardian arrived. "I didn't know what sort of bed you would want" was her excuse for not allocating us a room. We are now ensconced, with François, in an outdoor chalet. It's a bed for the night. 

Later: quite a comfy bed, all the better for our finding a heater.

Half board here is a reasonable €32 per person, including as much wine as you can drink. For starters we got a luxurious omelette with mushrooms and chillies, etc. Then sausage and pasta, with mushrooms and a creamy sauce, followed by fruit salad in kirsch, with Basque cheese and cherry jam.

We certainly can't complain!  The company was good as well - we ate with John and Paul, and Pierre and his family - all very jolly. 

Tomorrow's forecast is fair - will it be our first dry walking day?

Sent from our GR10 trip - see here for our itinerary