Two Brits found after five days lost in the Pyrenean foothills

Two British pilgrims were found by a Spanish rescue team after surviving five days lost in the woods in the foothills of the Pyrenees with no food.

Two Brits found after five days lost in the Pyrenean foothills
The pair were found a few miles from the Camino de Santiago. Photo: calafellvalo / Flickr

The married couple, who have not been identified but are said to be British and from Cambridge, survived by drinking water from livestock troughs after becoming disorientated and losing their way as they crossed from the French town of Saint Jean de Pied de Port towards Spain’s Roncesvalles.

According to the rescue service in Navarra, the pair had set out from the French border town on Friday carrying only a picnic lunch and a small amount of water in their backpacks.

After realizing that they had lost their way, they attempted to contact emergency services in France but the batteries on their mobile phones ran out before they could give details of the last known location.

They were eventually located around 6pm on Tuesday by a mountain rescue team from the Burguete fire service over the border in Spain who spotted them from a helicopter after pair used brightly covered clothing to form a cross on the ground.

 According to SOS Navarra the pair were “dehydrated, hungry and exhausted”.

“It seems they quickly ran out of food and water and survived the five days drinking from animal water troughs they found on the way,” said a spokesman from SOS Navarra.

The route between Saint Jean de Pied de Port and Roncesvalles is the first stage of the popular pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela and walked by thousands of pilgrims each year.

The British couple were apparently pilgrims who ventured off the well-trodden path.

The British Embassy in Madrid said: “Two British nationals who were reported missing have now been safely found in Navarra. Our consular staff are ready to provide any support if requested.”

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