It's possible to walk the Grand Randonnee, guidebook in hand, over the Pyrenees

November 08, 1992|By New York Times News Service

Q: I have heard of a hiking trail called G.R. 7 that traverses the Pyrenees. Where can I find information, preferably in English, to help plan a walk next summer?

A: The G.R. 7 (G.R. stands for Grand Randonnee) runs 183 miles from Castelnaudary in southwestern France to Andorra in the Pyrenees. A guide, in French, is available in Paris from the Federation Francaise de la Randonnee Pedestre. The route is covered by Topo-Guide No. 714, each 57 francs (about $11), with a map on one side and information (in French) on walking times, places to see, sleep and eat on the other.

Another Grand Randonnee that crosses the Pyrenees is G.R. 10, between Banyuls on the Mediterranean to Hendaye on the Atlantic, 434 miles. The whole route is covered by Topo-Guides Nos. 1086, 1087 (each 87 francs, or $17.40), 1088 and 1089 (each 78 francs, or $15.60).

Also available at the Federation Francaise de la Randonnee are guides to the "Detours Pyreneens." These detail two- to seven-day walks that branch off the Grand Randonnees in the Pyrenees. These detours appear on maps No. 013 and 014, each $17.40. The material is available from the Federation Francaise de la Randonnee Pedestre, Centre d'Information, 64 Rue de Gergovie, 75014 Paris, France; call (44 1) 45.45.31.02. The guides may be ordered from the United States with an international money order for the price of the maps in francs, plus 30 francs (about $6) for mailing.

The maps of the French Institut Geographique National Serie Bleue sheets, $8.60 each, cover the eastern (map No. 2249) and western (No. 2349) areas of the Pyrenees, and include the Grand Randonnees and other routes. They are sold at large bookstores and at Institut Geographique National, 107 Rue la Boetie, 75008 Paris, France; (33 1) 43.98.85.00, fax (33 1) 40.70.04.39.

An English-language translation of the Federation Francaise de la Randonnee Pedestre guide to G.R. 10, called "Walking the Pyrenees," from the British publisher Robertson McCarta, is available for $17.95 (plus $3.50 for shipping) from the French Walker, 145 E. 22nd St., Apartment 5E, New York, N.Y. 10010; (212) 353-2022.

Another source of English translations of French guidebooks is Michael Chesler Books, P.O. Box 399, Kittredge, Colo. 80457; (800) 654-8502. Books include "Pyrenees High Level Route," by Georges Veron ($27.95), and "Pyrenees East" ($20.95) and "Pyrenees West" ($19.95), both by Arthur Battagel; all three are published by Gastons-West Col. Shipping parcel post is $2.50 for one book and 50 cents for each additional one. U.P.S. is $3.50 for one book and 50 cents for each additional one.

Q: What is the best location on a cruise ship to minimize the chance of getting seasick? Any other pointers?

A: The least motion is experienced in a cabin in the lower part of mid-ship, according to a spokeswoman for the Cruise Line International Association, which represents 31 cruise lines.

Dr. Kenneth L. Koch, a gastroenterologist at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., who specializes in the study and treatment of motion sickness, offers this additional advice to those prone to seasickness:

When on deck face forward and keep your gaze on the horizon. The sight of rolling waves or the nearby shoreline can contribute to nausea.

Eat lightly, mainly starchy meals or snacks like cereal, toast or crackers. Laboratory tests have found that a stomach doing the work of digestion is less likely to suffer the most intense symptoms.

Divert your attention with a card game, for example, or some other activity. Pilots and astronauts report little nausea when engaged in tasks requiring concentration.

Dr. Koch says that many travelers find a scopolamine patch worn behind the ear to be effective; these work for three days. Dramamine and Bonine often cause sedation, he said. Dr. Koch said that continuous electrical stimulation of a point on the left wrist said by acupuncturists to affect nausea has helped control motion sickness. Some use a wrist band with a lump that applies pressure to the point.

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