2017

Day 40 – Ferme Gainekoetxea tonight

Suddenly I seem to be surrounded by Pyrenees. We are in Basque Country, the path rises and falls over the hills and valleys and the cornfields have been replaced by grazing sheep. The Via Podiensis has finally recovered from the past several days of tarmac and promises  a worthy final day into St Jean PdP tomorrow.

Today’s walk was 28Km and there was a decent restaurant in a gite at lunchtime for an omelette and coffee. Later, we stopped in the nearby village of Ostabat which had a welcoming bar. But that was just a warm up for tonight’s gite, the Ferme Gainekoetxea which is already developing an end of Camino party atmosphere. Apart from Fr and N, my earlier walking companions A and C are here and M (the Australian actress) has just arrived with a German. And Co is here too. She is not in my dorm. I suggested she refrained from falling out of bed but she didn’t seem to remember the incident.

I’m sharing a washing machine with A so we can be presentable tomorrow when we arrive in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to finish the Via Podiensis and to meet all the new pilgrims arriving from around the world to walk the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela.

A, N & Fr in the bar in Ostabat at the end of today’s walk
Walking in the Basque Country

Lunchtime stop at L’Escargot
It’s starting to get busy as we approach Ostabat, the final stop before SJPdP
House with a crack

Misty start to the day

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