Bonjour France!

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.

About the author AmblingRose

We are keen hikers based in Perth, Western Australia. We have hiked 7 New Zealand multi-day walk trails, the 800km Camino Frances in Spain, the Cape to Cape in WA, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia. We have hiked sections of the 1003 km Bibbulmun Track in WA with plans to complete an end to end this year in Spring, 2019.

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