Fully rested after a delightful evening in the bar of the Raddison Blu hotel and hearty breakfast I was ready to start. I said goodbye to Alan, it was emotional! Then it began. 'Oh my goodness they're big ones' ' what ? 'i said 'you must be going on a long,trek ' 'OH, we'll yes I am actually,500 mileS well that's the plan' That was my encounter at customs, well that and having to take my boots off ,to check for bombs I expect.
The RyAnair bugle blew as we landed , yet another flight ahead of schedule . The weAther on arrival in BiaritZ was DULL. I couldn't believe that I had left the glorious sunshine in Ashleworth for this ! It looked like it had been raining for weeks and judging by the river in Bayonne it had.
I met Rev waiting for the bus to the train station. I discovered later that her real me was Catherine but for some reason she preferred to be addressed by an abbreviated version of her surname. Her strong Irish accent belied the fact that she was from London.She was lovely and aged 60 ,clearly very fit. I was to spend the next 5 hours with her waiting for the train and getting to the centre of St Jean. Do I have 'I'd love a drink plAstered on my forehead?' Or maybe it was the Irish factor but we seemed to hit it off immediately and were sharing a drink in the station bar before you could say ' merde il pleut'
The train was a bit of a shock, very short and I wondered how it was going to accommodate the cordecopia of nationalities gathered on the platform for St Jean, but sure enough it did... Just!
Esprit du Chemin is gorgeous ! 21 euros for a comfortable bed supper breakfast and a packed lunch for tomorrow .sharing a room with a Dutch lady and a guy from brazil The lady is raising money for a cancer charity cycling from Le Puy in France to Santiago. The fact that I have never hostellers before showed this afternoon when I went for a shower and realised I'd left my towel in the room. I attracted attention by yelling out of the shower window .A kind woman retrieved it from my ruck sack and went on to assure me that my antics would be a conversation table round the supper table tonight.
The current advice is not to use the Napoleons pass tomorrow even though it is open as the weather is not good. I haven't decided what to do yet as was really looking forward to that route, whether to ignore the advice and go anyway Ill decide tomorrow, after all it's another day