hiking in the center of the national park

Before you go, you should know that it rains more here than in Brittany! Because the Aspe valley is the first valley in the chain to stop the disturbance of the ocean. It is, in fact, a compendium of biodiversity, with summer pastures occupied by herds in summer, the presence of rock dogs in the ridges, the near desmans stream, capercaillie, ermine and gray partridge. The Aspe Valley is also home to the best population of iguanas with more than 1,000 individuals on 7,000 hectares. This otter has been back for eight years, the ibex has also been reintroduced and its diverse habitat is well suited for raptors.

Bivouac on the mountain

A stone thrown from the shepherd’s hut, Larry’s shelter is unguarded, but comfort is there: bunk beds, upper bunks, gas and stoves. Ideal for a night in the mountains away from the frenetic city. Going higher, the route crosses the grasslands to the Col d’Ayous with spectacular views of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau. Two options were available to us, one is going to Ayous Peak, or the other is Larry’s Peak, which is less frequented. It can also descend through the hideout of Ayous, to the lakes of Gentau, Miel and Roumassot, to the Bious-Artigues. This requires you to plan a car downstairs. Whichever route you take, count a total of six to seven hours of walking in the heart of the concentrated nature that makes up the park’s richness.

Three addresses needed

For seven years, Esprit Parc national has promoted products and services in the national parks of France. That’s 650 companies in all, including 136 companies in the Pyrenees for 360 local products “marked” by Esprit Parc. Among them:

Transhumance et Cie, a must stop! It is impossible not to stop at Bedous Station, which has become a charming hotel-restaurant with the almost original decoration of the station lobby. But with all the comfort and a dedicated trim. Fabrice, the chef, and Édith, a former teacher, bought the Bedous station to turn it into a warm and atypical place where you can eat divinely well. On the menu, the outfit is essential, cooked in pure tradition and served every day of the year. Or the lamb cheese rolette, a local specialty, which they are the only ones to offer. But the chef’s signature feature is cooking on the open fire: duck breast, Gascon pork, lamb, salmon from the valley… A table of “Parc Spirit” to try!

Fleece Yarn at Escot Lost in the bottom of the Casteig valley, Thibaut and Gwendoline Ribeyron live in a true little corner of paradise. On a farm among the trees and by the stream, they lived by farming and raising livestock as in the old days. Their livestock: about forty merino sheep and almost as many angora rabbits from which Gwendoline harnesses sheep’s wool to make hats, scarves, and other naturally dyed fabrics, along with plants grown in her garden. Self-taught, she began knitting, crocheting, weaving and upholstering, and sold her Esprit Parc crafts through her online store and at several markets. Farm tours and introductory workshops are also held.

Soubille Farm in Bedous Emma and François Salanouve raise lambs and poop, and grow berries that Emma turns into jams and syrups. Each summer, they collect nearly 500 kilograms of fruit and vegetables and almost as much meat, which they vacuum-package for direct sale and at the Tot de Casa store in Oloron. The young couple also enjoyed picking linden flowers, chestnuts, acacia, wild mint and rosemary for Emma to make syrup. Both claim the Esprit parc brand because of the values ​​that PNP conveys and respect for nature. Agricultural store.

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