We wake early for our train trip from Montparnasse to Bayonne and then onto St -John Pied- de- Port. Catherine and Denise are our traveling companions. Canadians or should I say “Knucks” ( I hope that I spelt it correctly and there is not an “f” in there). I must say they were delightful company on an otherwise unremarkable trip with a constant view of plantation pine sporadically punctuated by an interesting farm house or village. Au revoir girls and bon voyage as you traverse Spain, Italy and look in on Geneva. You have our contact in Australia and so we expect a visit soon.
Bayonne looks interesting but we only have a couple of hours so we decide on lunch: a salad, jambon, emmenthal, baguette and coffee/water. The coffee in France is great so far, such a clean finish and no bitterness … just the way we like it.
The trip to St JpdP ( capital of Basse – Navarre) lasts 90minutes through beautiful valleys, flowing rivers and communities that appear and disappear behind copses of trees or small hills. We climb, the temperature climbs to the high 20’s, we arrive. The station is 300-400m out of town and we sweat our way to the nearest bar for a beer, water and directions. The owner grins at us with a mouth that looks more like a stacked rock wall in a field, but he is very friendly, speaks a little English (they all say they speak a petit peu) and helps us find the information centre and the Pilgrims centre where we obtain our Credencial del Peregrino.
So its off to Hotel des Remparts ( St J P d P was originally a walled town (see pics I hope as we are having trouble uploading, but all will be resolved). We have the obligatory SSS and off for a walk around this beautiful town, finally settling down for a fantastic Blanc Sauvignon followed by a salad, fish and duck neck. We are getting the hang of food and ordering and the meals are just fantastic. Tomorrow we begin the Camino … bon camino and everyone seems at once eager and fearful.
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