Hello again Amy. I met you and Jim in Andorra and walked part of a day together. Great trip report; it brings back strong and vivid memories of my HRP walk.
@ Dave, another option is to start in Bibao, if you have the time. Biarritz is a closer jumping-off point, but IMO Bilbao is worth the little bit of extra effort. I spent a day and a half there and would love to go back. It's a cool little city. If you are into art, you can visit the Guggenheim, where I spent one full day before headin off to the mtns. I caught a bus from Bilbao to Irun, where a Basque festival was taking place, so no more public transport possible that day. San Sebastian is en route and is another place worth visiting. Ended up walkin and hitchin from Irun to Hendaye.
Beyond the fantastic people I met there and the beautiful mountains, one of the highlights of the trip was staying in the cabanas (free of charge) I came across on or near the HRP. Cabanas are very basic and sometimes very old shelters, but most are dry and situated in prime real estate. They are on the maps, and Joosten, who, I got the impression, doesn't seem to use or like them, describes them as "primitive" or "basic." If possible, I would not rush the HRP, as the Pyrenees are mountains to savour. Other things that come to mind? Lescun has a good camp site, so does Gavarnie. You can post a drop box to the Tourist Info/Post Office in Gavarnie. I'd recommend the Spanish Mountaineering Club's hostel in Salardu. They'll take a drop box too. I liked the hut/hostel in Salardu (and the meals) so much, I ended up staying 2 nights. Very friendly and helpful caretakers. Oh yeah, keep an eye on snow reports. There was a good bit of snow left over after a heavy winter--even in mid July. If you like, I will dig up notes for the name of a good hotel in Banyuls-sur-Mer. Enjoy and safe journey! --Mike