I’m putting this photo in from our town walk last evening as I really like these and Kathy and I used to always have good rides when we were hitchhiking in Europe in 1975! This is a classic, and I think our daughter Erin would like this:)
Given we were staying in a slightly different place, we were up just after 6:00 and out the door fairly early. We had in front of us what turned out to be a longer day than expected with quite a bit of narrow cliff hanging trails. Just the way we finished the day yesterday.
It took a bit of focus to stay on the trail and I had the oddest sensations when I caught the big trucks roaring along the highway far below out of the corner of my eye. Neither of us liked this very much, but there wasn’t any choice, so we pressed on.
The sun began to show itself and things began to warm up quickly. Climbing and sunshine makes for warm work.
The valley slowly shrank through the day as we moved further south, but at this point when we came off the side of a mountain it was pretty wide.
We liked being able to see the mountains and the villages so we made a plan to stick to the road for a while and we were glad we did. So many of these mountain trails isolate the walker with greenery. We have loads of this at home and would rather see the vistas as we walk. So we took the opportunity for about 3 kms. Completely worth it.
We rejoined the route at Accous which was dog central. I was quite lathered up by these guys who were way too friendly!
There was some challenging trail walking today, but also some very pleasant trails to explore.
Just after we stopped by the trail to have a simple lunch our Camino friends from Brittany appeared. That was kind of nice, and the 4 of us wandered on together until we reached Borce where they planned to spend the night.
It’s a very nice old town with a hospital to look after the pilgrims in former times as they passed through here. Now a small museum. I must say that walking the small cliff side trails the past two days has really given me the feeling that this was the original pilgrim route. I’m pretty sure that much of the rest of the trail has been adjusted by new roads, etc. There is no where else to walk here except on the ancient road.
So we did good bye to Michel and Janey and headed 5 more kilometres up the highway. I put on all my lights because it was late in the afternoon and huge trucks roar through. They recommend that in the rain you catch a bus, but today was fine and we passed without incident. The great thing about walking is that you get up close and personal with Fort du Portalet, built in the 19thC to protect the pass which narrows there. It was very cool! It was later used as a prison to house some very infamous persons including Pétain. I told Annemarie that if it was open there was no way I was climbing up. She was disappointed, but agreed. I’ve just ordered my second Eguzki beer which is a very tasty Basque beer...it says so right on the bottle! As I sit here I hear more Spanish than French as we are just a few kilometres from the boarder, unfortunately all up hill another 1000 metres.
And now we are showered and waiting another hour for dinner, but the cold beer is really nice and appreciated after some 8.5 hours on the trail today.
I thought that perhaps some might like to see our credentials which we are required to have stamped each day and must hold to stay in any pilgrim accommodation. Also Santiago requires a visual before they will issue a pilgrim with their compostella. I think this is the most interesting credentials that I have, with no industrial stamps! The local city halls in the small villages are only too happy to see the pilgrims and provide a stamp.