Arrondissement d’Oloron-Sainte-Marie

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement d’Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

21 travelers at this place:

  • Day120

    We dropped too soon out of the Pyrennes, and wanting to prolong the mountains, rode along in the foothills for a few days.  We were regularly passed by all the Tour de France wannabees, as this is a classic stage of the race.  Actually, we stayed in Arette for two nights, and they have the wall of their town office plastered with photos of all the locals who have competed (and won)  the Tour de France.  Caleb was suitably amazed at all the old men who were biking, in their 70's and older with calves of steel.   In Arette, we avoided a campgound and chose to camp on a bar in a creek.  We loved the camping, but it looked like it could rain any minute, every day. Early the second morning, a friendly farmer waded into the river in his gumboots to warn us that a orange grade thunder and hail storm was coming and we could wait it out in his barn (forshadowing...)We checked out two ancient barns, both of which required climbing through manure, and decided to tackle the rain instead.  Several rain showers and beautiful towns latter we groceried up.  There we met an 84 year young man with a bike equally as old and about 30 lbs of groceries, who chatted us up and turned down a glass of wine (only because it would upset his stomach) then started his 2km ride back home.

    Marty, using his nearly unfailing campsite finding skills (forshadowing) quickly led us to an elevated river bar downstream from Mauleon-Licharre on the Saison Gave (which means river that comes from the Pyrenesse) not unlike the bars we are familiar with in BC.  Green pool drop rapids, beautiful forest, rocks and sand.  We set up camp as it started to rain.  Although it seemed unlikely our bar site could be flooded, we used Caleb's knife to hack down some greenery, and made a platform higher up on the bank.  Unfortuantely, bees started coming out of what we thought was a birdhouse (french people put their beehives in trees, research to follow), so we were back on the bar.  A couple litres of cheap Rose put us at ease even as the thunderstorm raged for the next three hours, with Marty sleeping peacefully.  Caleb hunkered under a tarp tent and made us dinner.  When it was fully dark, we noticed that the level on our water stick had changed by about two feet and water was starting to flow over our bar.  Thankfully we had made our highwater tent pad, and the dark had calmed the bees, so we moved to the riverbank, with headlamps, as everything is easier in the dark.  About twenty minutes later, brown water was flowing in the channel between the bar and the bank.  It seemed highly unlikely that the river could come up more, so we went to sleep.  We were wrong.  When Marty woke for a pee at 3am, the bank channel seemed far too quiet, and when he turned on his light to see if the river had gone down, the river was calmly flowing inside our tent beside Jorja.  We carried Jorja, in her soaking bag,  up to the farmers field, and then moved all our gear for the third time that night by lifting our tent over the farmer's fence.  Then surprisingly, we slept till 8. We feel fortunate to still be learning the lessons that you are meant to wrap up in your twenties. 

    The next few days were character building.  We rode in and out of rain, hiding out when we could, and biked downhill to the coast.  There were beautiful churches in out of the way towns, we biked through a corner of Pays de Basque, where the language looks like Icelandic, and we saw fields of ducks and geese for fois de grasse (fatty pate...).  Turns out the storms have been intense throughout France with record lightning strikes, flooding in towns, and closed airports. So we count ourselves lucky that we have made it to the coast, and are for the most part sheltered from the rains in the rest of France.  We many not see much of history, but we will stay dry!!
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  • Day57

    Ce qu'il y a de bien avec les montagnes c'est qu'après les montées, il y a les descentes!!! C'est un peu comme des récompenses! Et croyez nous, quand on se tape les pyrénées en vélo... Les descentes, on ne les a pas volées!!! 😁
    Après le col d'Aubisque, nous avons dévalé les pentes jusqu'à Eaux Bonnes! Très jolie ville Thermale!
    Et nous avons eu la chance de croiser sur notre route Josianne et Christian! Très beau couple, passionnés de voile et de voyages, avec qui nous avons pu partager nos aventures! 😀Read more

  • Day36

    Road trip to barcelona

    June 29, 2017 in France

    Kit and I travelled by train to Bordeaux to pick up the rental car that I had used to make it to the pick up point. After a ridiculously expensive taxi ride from the train station to the airport (60+ euros for 7km) we picked up the car and were on our way. It started pouring with rain, and to make matter worse, google maps took us on a wild goose chase for gas, and we literally ended up BEHIND a gas station, with no way to make it to the pumps, while we were running on fumes. It was as if we were stuck in a maze, we could get back to the main road, we just kept driving around these little back roads, never sure when we would run out of gas.

    Finally it was around 1am and I managed to find the way back to the road just behind the gas station, and I parked, intent on climbing the fence if necessary. Turns out there was an access gate for pedestrians, so Kit and I got out and walked across the field to the gas station. Right at that moment it began to pour with rain. We purchased a gas can and got some gas and walked back. By the time we got to the car, it was nearly typhoon like rain, and I was drenched filling the tank.

    However, this effort succeded that we drove all the way back around to the gas station to fill up completely. This experience took so long that we decided we should just drive the rest of the night. I pulled off to a rest stop about an hour later and slept for 1.5 hours and then continued driving.
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  • Day11

    J+8 Arrivé au pays Basque

    August 27, 2016 in France

    Il suffit d'être l'ami d'un ami pour devenir amis.. Accueil familial et chaleureux dans le pays Basque!Très belle boucle VTT avec Jean-Pierre! Super découverte du pays avec un local...

    Paysages fabuleux, nature très verte, des collines de partout, unique en son genre!

    Mes potes espagnol vont me manquer! Rebe, Chris, Yago, hasta luego!

  • Day19


    June 17, 2016 in France

    We walked to oloron. We fought against leaves and sticks with our knives. At oloron we tried to find a wolkenregenplanplatzschlaff nicht after a nice meal at Lidl, but decided to just chill at the church and see what happens there was a concert. Since we were pilgrims no one complained about us not paying. Many people in the church approached us and asked us questions. As they realized that we didn't know where we are going to sleep they tried to find someone to host us. A kind woman offered her place. After the concert she drove us to her house and gave us the keys and instructions on what to do on the next morning, since she and her husband where going to Paris at 6am they wouldn't be in the house when we wake up.Read more

  • Day20


    June 18, 2016 in France

    In the morning she left a note for breakfast and allowed us to eat there. We left the house and I decided that I needed a new backpack. The one I had was broken everywhere and wouldn't be big enough to carry food for the next days. So we found a market and bought a new backpack and also a tent. We bought lots of food at lidl and continued our journey.

    While walking we found an interesting treehouse? It was extremely high up we climbed the medal ladders. I didn't dare to go all the way up because of the scary noises the thing was making.
    In the evening we arrives at a nice little town in which we set our small camp and chilled. It was rainy most of the night and the tent supposley for two was tiny but we managed.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement d’Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Arrondissement d'Oloron-Sainte-Marie

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