Aire-sur-l'Adour - Miramont-Sensacq - Pimbo - Arzacq-Arraziguet
Today was a strange day on The Way. But that's rather a long story so will have to wait for another time. I've come back from dinner a little late. All of a sudden a whole gang of English speakers appeared at dinner at the gite. A group of six from Belgium, Anders from Switzerland, and two young pilgrims (university students) Max and Sebastian from Germany.
For the past two weeks, almost every night I have been the sole non-French speaker at the dinner table - tonight English ruled. It was a nice change to understand and be able to participate in the conversation. But there's a price to pay. Dominique announced that if we were to walk together tomorrow, Sunday, it will be French day, ie, I have to speak French all day. I'm not concerned. It will be far worse for him than for me!
I hope I run in to Max and Sebastian again. I love to see young people on The Way - like Evan and Jane last year (we dubbed The Children of the Camino). If I'd known about The Camino in my backpacking days, I think it would have been just the ticket. Max and Sebastian started in Le Puy en Velay and are hoping to walk all the way to Santiago, then on to Finisterre. They were excited and full of questions when they discovered I had walked that Way. For those who are walking on, St Jean Pied de Port and the crossing the Spanish border and on to Roncesvalles are less than a week away, so talk is turning to Spain!
Just about bed time. - so many thanks for your emails Julie (from Seville!), Judy and Mandi, and for the great chat on the phone, Rosanne. It's strange walking along the Chemin in the French countryside talking to you on a line so clear you could be next door. What a treat.
Before I sign off, a brief explanation of some of the photos tonight which begin with dinner last night then sunrise from my bedroom window this morning. Also, the snow capped Pyrennees - spectacular. I heard a French 'Camino' joke today. If you can see the Pyrennees, it means that rain is on the way. If you can't see the Pyrenees, it means it's raining. Given the weather this afternoon, and the forecast tomorrow, maybe it's true!
Also photos of a small country cottage decked out with 60th birthday decorations. I spoke to the farmer who said it was in honour of his brother's birthday. Perhaps you can see the little sign, 'Boulevard des Soixante Primtemps'. Boulevard of Sixty Summers.
One of my favourite photos - three lovely French ladies who were so kind to me today. Will hopefully get to that story tomorrow.
And finally, the exterior of my gite accommodation tonight where I have my own room! More like a little studio apartment. Luxury.
Hopefully I will be back on track with a proper update tomorrow. But who knows what the Camino has in mind for me.
PS. Though it think the daily km numbers are often out, and there is no consistency across the guide books - by all references I've walked well over 600 kms since leaving Le Puy en Velay. Not long to go now until I reach the end at St Jean Pied de Port.