Saturday, May 24, 2008

Getting close to Spain!

I feel like I am getting near to a big plughole that is about to scoop me up and deposit me in Spain! But it won't actually be like that: I have a big mountain pass ahead of me to climb. Today we saw the line of the Pyrenees for a while from Arthez. Had lunch on some seats near the church overlooking the magnificent and somewhat scary view of how steeply they arose from lower down. Fortunately I have managed to reserve at Orisson, part way up the climb, so that should make life a little easier. I am also having a rest day in St Jean Pied de Port which I need; so that is great. I am at Esprit du Chemin there: they keep a proportion of their beds each day for people walking through from Ostabat so I qualify for that.

This week getting accommodation was very hard as several big groups seemed to be around at the same time. I got the last bed in Arzacq: it was a single room, not very expensive, but with my very own shower, toilet and basin - what luxury! Last night I was in the gite in the village of Uzan, in a house opposite a farm that ran it. Unlike NZ, the farms had their houses clustered in this village - there were cows in a barn right next to the kitchen- but then the various fields are scattered about. They had 32 cows, half of which were milked, and the other half were young ones. The husband is busy ploughing and planting at present, something we have seen a lot of in this area.

I had to carry my food to Uzan, as there are no shops there. I was still hungry. Then today my pack felt like it weighed a ton. I discovered tonight that I had more food that had slipped to the bottom that I had forgotten I had!

Weather has been pretty good for walking lately, neither too hot nor cold, nor wet. But it did rain all morning today; though it was warm enough. Then it cleared at lunchtime for a sunshine view of the Pyrenees. I wonder what the weather will be like for the climb!

Tonight I am in a very rural gite again at Cambarrat, and it is just lovely here. My Quebecois friends, Lyne and Denis, are also here, and we are climbing the mountain the same day and staying at Orisson together. I have booked for my next few days - Navarrenx, Oroue, Ostabat then two days in SJPP before the climb.
Dinnertime -catch you again!


  1. Congratulations Margaret!! I know that you have arrived in St Jean. Have a good rest day - enjoy the town. Take it easy on the mountain the next couple of days, seems the weather forecast isn't too good with more rain on the way. Soon you will have to habla Espanol so buen camino peregrina y dios les bendiga!!

  2. I have become used to rain in the last week, though luckily it hasn't been too heavy or too cold so far. It is pleasant this morning in SJPP so I am going soon to take some photos, as I gather it will rain again later. I have a reservation in Orisson tomorrow, so if it is too wet I will be very glad to stop there!