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World Van life Briton missing in French mountains

04:45  29 november  2020
04:45  29 november  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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This week, our van life adventure takes us to the French Pyrenees National Park. The Pyrenees stretches 430km between France and Spain and rises higher than

A British man has been missing for nearly a week while walking in the French Alps. David Wood left his holiday home in Marie in the A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are in contact with local authorities and providing support to the family after a British national was reported missing in France."

A British woman who has spent six years on a campervan tour of Europe has gone missing while walking in the Pyrenees.

a person wearing sunglasses standing in front of a mountain: Esther Dingley sent this photo of her atop a mountain on Sunday © Esther Dingley Esther Dingley sent this photo of her atop a mountain on Sunday

Esther Dingley, 37, last spoke to her partner Dan Colegate via Whatsapp last Sunday, when she was atop Pic de Sauvegarde on the France Spain border.

She had been due to end her solo trek on Wednesday but has not been seen.

French authorities confirmed they are searching for Ms Dingley, and Mr Colegate said he was "broken" and "shattered" by her disappearance.

Ms Dingley had been travelling in the couple's camper van while Mr Colegate stayed at a farm in the Gascony area of France.

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Two German's, two Swiss and two Spanish nationals were reported dead, no names have been released yet .And five Britons and two Spaniards are reported missing . The Mont Maudit, which in French means "Cursed Mountain ", is the third-highest peak in the Mont Blanc massif range.

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On the weekend she set out on the trek, the couple's story about exploits around Europe in the camper van since 2014 was published by BBC News.

a rocky mountain: Esther had been walking in the area around Pic Sauvegarde © Google Esther had been walking in the area around Pic Sauvegarde

Mr Colegate said she had been away for a month and their last conversation had been about "how excited we were to see each other as this was her last trip before driving back".

Her last known location was on top of the mountain at about 16:00 GMT on Sunday 22 November.

Ms Dingley had started walking from Benasque in Spain on Saturday and had a plan to spend Sunday night at Refuge Venasque in France, Mr Colegate said.

He said searches had yielded "no sign at all" and temperatures are dropping with light snow fall in the area.

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a person standing on top of a snow covered mountain: Esther is an experienced walker who has completed solo treks before © Dan Colegate Esther is an experienced walker who has completed solo treks before

She has previously completed solo treks, and Mr Colegate said: "She always tried to keep in touch but sometimes on her hikes was out of contact for a couple of days.

"This is not looking good."

The couple had lived in Durham before deciding to pack up their lives and go travelling after Mr Colegate nearly died from an infection.

In a post on Facebook, the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM), said it was "actively looking" for Ms Dingley.

Mr Colegate, who has gone to the Luchon area to help look for his partner of 18 years, said helicopters and dogs have been involved in the search but have so far found "no trace".

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