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 Post subject: A walk on the wild side
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:57 am
Posts: 5976
Location: 64100 Bayonne
I'm involved with an association - Les amis du réseau Comète - dedicated to commemorating the memory of the Comète Line escape network in the Pays Basque in WWII. Comète was set up In the aftermath of Dunkirk by Andrée de Jong, a 24 yr old Belgian woman (and funded by the British), with the aim of repatriating Allied aircrew who had been shot down in N France, Belgium and Holland. Once Comète had delivered the pilots to the Pays Basque, it was up to the local organisation to channel them over the Pyrenees where a diplomatic car would be waiting to ferry them to Gibraltar and hence to the UK. (that's a necessarily brief summary!)
Every second weekend in September sees an international gathering here in the Pays Basque of surviving wartime helpers, a handful of octagenarian pilots, passeurs (smugglers) and their descendants. After various civic ceremonies, the main part of the long weekend is a walk over the original routes/tracks from Ciboure - just across the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz - up over the mountains, a river crossing of the Bidassoa and then the final hike to a safe farm. During the war, they did this in one night. We take 2 days.. #:-s
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If anyone fancies it, all the information can be found on the site for "Les amis.."
Govt Health warning: you do need to be reasonably fit for this! :D
I did part of it in 2010 - here's my account of it.
Feel free to PM me if you'd like to know more.

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