/ˈzēˌrō/
(noun)
  1. No quantity or number; naught; the figure 0.
  2. A day in which no miles are hiked.

Day 0

written Aug 2, 2019 @ 02:40 AM after hiking 0.00 miles

This story begins over two years ago, on July 22, 2017. On that day, I was hiking the PCT and began hiking with this hiker Crash. We hiked for a few days together and stayed in touch after. When he approached me last year about doing this crazy "Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne" thing, I said "yes" of course.

So that brings us to today: my alarm woke me up at 3:30am, I grabbed my backpack containing the gear I had been carefully curating over the past month, and got on a train for the airport.

Something like this

Essential piece of gear

So what is the Pyrenean Haute Route, or Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne? This guide had a good quick summary:

The Pyrenean Haute Route (or HRP for Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne) is an approximately 800 km (497 mi) traverse of one of Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges. Stretching from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, it criss-crosses the natural boundary between Spain and France, staying close to its watershed throughout most of its undulating course. 

(borrowed from that site)

So this brings us to today: Crash and I are are starting an epic hiking adventure for the next four weeks. He's flying in from New Zealand, I'm flying in from Norway, and we're flying out from Barcelona in about a month. Simple.

One thing that's always super weird to me is the experience of flying to a hiking trip. You check in your pack, which is terrifying.

There goes my pack, disappearing around the corner

Then you roll up to the security check with .. well, nothing. Remember, anything you bring, you have to carry (or get rid of). One thing you definitely don't have is a carry-on bag.

Everything that I had with me, except the phone in my hand

After that, I hung out at the gate until it was boarding time, which was a breeze (definitely no fighting for overhead space!).

When in Rome ...

After arriving in Bordeaux, I killed some time while I waited for Crash to show up. After some audiobooks and crossword puzzles and some reading of the guidebook, Crash arrived!

Inbound!

After taking a bus for an hour+ into town, we walked half an hour to the hotel and checked in so we could drop our stuff and head it and get some dinner.

The trouble with this plan is that it was 3pm and everything was closed because it's the middle of the day. So we stopped by a small shop and picked up some refreshments to help us kill and time until the restaurants reopened.

Stay hydrated!

Eventually the pizza shop opened up and we finally ate (especially Crash, since he's been flying for some 24 hours).

Yum!!

After that was taken care of, it was back to the hotel so he could finally get some sleep and I could finish this entry (it was written throughout the day, which is why the tenses are all over the place -- sorry!).

Batteries on the chargers, hikers in beds, bullies full -- tomorrow's gonna be a good day!