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After scanning some 400 negatives from pictures I took in the summer of 1990 (on my first hiking trip to the Pyrenees), the selection process feels difficult. I could go about it chronologically and tell about all the little mishaps, like the inept preparation (who would pack a full tracking backpack and in addition wrap a large bag to hold camera and multiple lenses around the neck?), or the virus infested water at Gavarnie we learned about too late.

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All this is silly, of course. Why should one go hiking in the Pyrenees to begin with? One reason to hike the Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne we had not in mind was that this trail is transversal to the famous Camino de Santiago, used by pilgrims even today for personal enlightenment. Which brings us to a theme.

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The light in the Pyrenees is special. It combines the mediterranean softness with the clarity of high altitude.

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And there are special places, too, that deserve clarity. Like the Brèche de Roland, where Roland, after losing the battle against the Basques in 788, destroyed his sword Durandal. leaving a 40 meters wide gap in the mountains, part of which can be admired above.

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They all should have done the same with their weapons before the battle.

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