2 Chronicles 20:6
According to the guide books we have 17 more Kms on the French portion of the Camino. Who would have thought we would actually walk 440 Miles through France ? One more day and then we start the climb into Spain. Weather permitting.
The weather forecast this morning said rain by 3 PM. It started around 2:15. We made quick work of our last of 22 Kms and were at the hotel by 3. It rained harder than we have experienced through our month of walking. Scary part is the thunder and lightning. It just started as we saw our hotel. We left this morning from a Gite outside the town of Aroue having spent the night with the RV people who are heading to Roncevalles and a couple of young people we had not seen before. Cooked our spaghetti and drank our wine. The Gite owner was quite nice and pointed out a short cut that we knew about. Cut 2 Kms off the trail. He told us to take a left at the Chateau. The first picture is it. No mistaking a Chateau.
We ran into a young Canadian we had met before. We discussed the upcoming climb over the Pyrenees. Since it looks like rain and/or snow, I told him that we were taking the lower route that has ready access to a highway in case of emergency. Since he has no cold weather gear, I urged him to use caution. Already at least one pilgrim death this year on the mountain stretch. We will be cautious.
The scenery in the morning was wonderful. Hard to tell if you are in France or Switzerland. The Basque mountain architecture just lacks the yodel. We are in sheep country with plenty of sheep pooh on the trails. Flys prefer it to cow pooh ten to one. Not sure why. Funny, the things you notice at 2.5 miles per hour.
Stopped in a delightful town called Uhart Mixe that was next to La Bedouze River. Had a lemonade and a pastry at the Escargot Gite. The lady manager showed us the way to the trail since we were off the main path and on a variant.
Ran into our first tour bus. It was full of kids on some outing to see a shrine. Weird to see those buses near the sheep.
It is really thundering right now. I know there are still pilgrims out there. I really worry about the tenters and the burro lady. I am glad we chose to complete our hike before this torrent began. Rain is one thing, lightning another.
Stopped for lunch in Ostabat at one. The town is significant since all three of the medieval pilgrimage trails across France merged there. At one time there were inns and lodgings for 5000 pilgrims at one time. Now all that remains is a Gite. We could see the rain coming so we donned our trusty parkas and headed out. Could have used the rain pants. We made it and entered the hotel dripping but not too muddy as the rain had pretty well washed off the excess.
We are excited about reaching St.Jean tomorrow. We need four hours of light rain or sunshine to make it. Stay tuned.
What beautiful scenery except the grey clouds. I am eager to hear that you are safely over the Mts. The houses in the small towns are so lovely and your connections with all the different people is so interesting to read, So glad to get to follow your adventure with you. Goldie and I have been busy. Cleaned out a few drawers and a bit of gardening. The trees are glad that we got a bit of rain and rosemary in front is really filling in. All my friends at church are keeping up with your progress. Glad you are being careful and planning well.
Beautiful country you’re walking through! We will keep you in our prayers, as you make this crossing. Godspeed!