Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Roncesvalles Pass

Redoubt de Chateau Rignon

This was our second visit to this battlefield. On our previous visit we had parked on the Pass itself, where roland had fought his famous rear guard action in 778, and explored the scene of the major fighting on 25 July 1813. This was between the Pass and the Altobiscar hill.

For our second visit we wanted to follow the area of the French advance, and explore the intiial contact at the Redoubt de Chateau Rignon and then the light infantry action at Pic de Leizar Atheka.

This involved a long drive from St Jean de Pied de Port to the crest of the Pyrenees. There is a very good road, but narrow and very winding. At the end of this road we reached the Redoubt de Chateau Rignon

We were tempted to follow the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella which follows the French advance from St Jean. But we estimated it would have taken about 5 hours from St Jean to the Pic de Leizar, and then the same distance back. We considered this was just a little too long to walk, particularly as it would involve a steep climb. However when we saw how beautiful the countryside is, we were quite sorry we did not do so. Perhaps we will return in the future and try again.

The diary entry for the day, and some more photographs, are at:

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