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on 29 November 2012
At 300g this is quite a substantial weight to carry on your back across all those Pyrenean cols and valleys so it really needed to earn its keep - and I am sorry to say it failed miserably. Think: 300g is the weight of a compact camera or two iPhones. The most serious fault with this guide is the poor concept and unintelligent way in which Paul Lucia put it together. Here is a random example of his pitiful instructions:

"Go down the road a few minutes . . . Soon ignore a track to the left, then a path to the left. Do not continue down to the farm on the clear track. Turn left, NE, and at a junction ignore a path left and another on the right, but take the path by a fence that leads to a track".

What is wrong with this? It is imprecise, confusing and unscientific for one thing. For another it uses up valuable space (and your reading time) telling you what NOT to do. It is more of a hindrance than a help. If you are carrying maps then the maps will provide you with all the navigational information you need (although the GR10 is so well marked and signed - in most places - that detailed maps are barely necessary). A walker needs to know concisely only WHAT to do, not what NOT to do! Unfortunately the entire Paul Lucia GR10 guidebook is crammed full of infuriating text like this. When you are tired and your heart is pounding in your chest from strenuous exertions the last thing you want to do is to decipher Paul Lucia's gobbledygook. What on earth was he thinking? Why didn't the editor interpose and suggest root and branch redaction? Suffice to say there were many occasions when I felt like flinging this guidebook into a ravine or mire. A randonneur does not walk along carrying a guidebook in his or her hands: he or she will consult the guidebook before setting off, or, in extremis, when lost. What is needed therefore are broad GENERAL instructions about what to expect in the day ahead: advice and warnings about what is to come rather than waffle about what NOT to do. Another essential element that is absent in this guide is factual information about geology, culture, history, vegetation and fauna. Instead of mad waffle we could have had some substantial information that would have enhanced our appreciation of the region. The TopoGuides provide some of this (if your French is up to it). Having said that there are some valuable features which this guidebook has the advantage over the TopoGuides (the French GR10 guidebook equivalent), namely, the 'Profile - Day' graph which shows the km distance as well as the meter elevation for the stage: my French companions were impressed with this. I spotted a glaring error on Days 12 and 13: on all seven pages the village of Etsaut is misspelled Estaut, even on the maps! This indicates slack proofreading and copy editing by the publisher, Cicerone.

My advice: buy 1:50,000 maps as you go along the route. If your command of French is up to it use the GR10 TopoGuides: these contain usable contoured route maps which the Cicerone guidebook lacks. All can be found in tabacs and supermarkets along the route.
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on 9 October 2004
Initially I thought this was a very good book, with nice pictures and a helpful daily mileage, but on closer inspection found most of the information was taken from other books and his route descriptions very dull and difficult to follow, if you need books for the GR10 the Topoguides and Trekking in the Pyrenees by Douglas Streatfeild-James a better combination. He also made a comment about one valley being dark and dreary, we walked it on two gloriously sunny days where it was anything but, not a very helpful comment, most places will change with the weather.
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on 7 August 2013
Very confusing instructions. Very repetitive and not clear about what to do and when. Trail is marked well but occasionally when in doubt I referred to this book and was quite disappointed. Many important details about the trail is excluded and some details mentioned are different or don't really exist! I used the book as a general reference to get an idea about where I am going, how much ascending and descending I am going to be doing and general logistics. Although info about logistics is also very limited and somewhat unreliable, it is better than not having any. It would be great if this book is updated and reprinted in a more conventional format, perhaps less heavy. Until then it is better to get the names of the towns on the trail from the internet and follow the red and white waymarks without carrying a 300g not so useful book. I used another guide book from this writer before, GR11. It had also several flaws but it wasn't as bad as this one.
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on 16 October 2014
The main problem with this guide Is the unachievable times suggested for each stage of the journey. The times average 15 to 25% less tha the French guide and those on official signage at key junctions. This is irresponsible and can lead to people being caught out on the hill late in the afternoon when thunderstorms are likely. i did manage to keep to his times on one occasion when I travelled with the head down for 7 hours. Hardly the way to enjoy the mountains. Besides a simple application of Naismiths rules supports the asaertion of unreasoably short times, edpecially since the paths can be very rough, weather damaged and thst people generally carry a 9-10kg pack for this trek. I understand that the book is under review and suggest that a complete rewrite would be more appropriate.
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on 15 October 2015
Used in Summer 2015. This book is now quite out dated, it is now easier and simpler to follow the red and white markings of the GR10 all the way across (and possibly using a couple of up to date French maps which are very useful) the directions are more confusing than useful, the information about towns really needs updating so gaining supplies was a bit questionable occasionally!
If you can understand enough french or are prepared to learn, the French guides are worth your money!
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on 28 March 2015
Like most guide books, out of date before they are published. The basics - accommodation, services, terrain etc, change all the time. Wish there was a live site updating information on a subscription basis. Better idea to go with a book...maybe leave space for update notes before departure and include a subscription with the book...
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on 30 March 2016
For someone who has done the Corsica trail, this is the next challenge
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on 5 June 2015
Efficient delivery. Good quality book.
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on 16 July 2013
The guide arrived quickly even though I had to get it sent out to France.
My husband was actually walking this long footpath and I was able to follow him daily by the stages in the book.
A brilliant guide! The sites and gites d'etape were great.
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