Well, we have arrived at our starting point at St Jean Pied de Port, France. Tomorrow is our first day of walking!
Today started off with a rush out of bed, packed up & downed some crossiants & Espresso (D) on the way to the train station. Then it was a 3 hour train to Pamplona ( those train seats were terribly uncomfortable to ones behind I may add ). There we had a lazy few hours gap to amble around town, sit & enjoy a rather delicious lunch followed by tea & cake.
Then straight on the bus for a 2 hour trip into SJPDP through the Pyrenees mountains where we climbed up & up along narrow roads & then down & down along narrow roads. The temperature was dropping the views obscured by low clouds & then some rain. Mr D took one look at the steepness of the terrain & began to sweat with anxiety – “I have to walk up that?! What was I thinking?! Taxi!”
Our first stop in SJPDP is the Carnet de Pelerin to receive our first sello in our passports. Mr D starts to converse in Spanish before he realises we are not in Spain!
We stay in our first Albergue, in a room with 6 bunk beds but only us & a rather loud Frenchman that speaks no English. We had a fantastic 3 course meal just the 3 of us before the remaining 32 German Pilgrims were to come down for dinner.
The volunteer hospitalero woman that manages the Albergue converses with us that she is done working there & will be returning home soon. She quickly shows annoyance at a group of tourists that seem to come into the building to have a look. Then they walk back out without a hello to the woman. She looks at their departure darkly.
We finish the night with a stroll around town & a couple more vino’s to ensure we have a restful nights sleep.