A 29-kilometer day and my heat rash has returned – I blame the higher temperatures recently. But we’d watched a bit of Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” last night at the gîte, so “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” was the theme song of the day.

Ori, Robert, and I arrived at the gîte in Uzan this evening to find it full of bicycle pilgrims (cheaters!) unloading a bunch of gear from a rented nine-passenger van (double-cheaters!). We weren’t happy. But in true Camino style, we walked on and found a brand new gîte in Géus with two bedrooms and no guests, and we happily accepted their offer of demi-pension (dinner, bed, and breakfast) at €30 a head, despite having carried our groceries 15 kilometers this afternoon.

As usual, it was totally worth it. The facilities were first class and I suspect we were their first guests ever. And the meal was excellent: a kir to start; then salad with cheese in it; a garbure with duck, pork, potatoes, beans, leeks, etc.; a local “cow” cheese (unnamed) with black cherry jam and bread; and a lime sorbet for dessert.

Below: Leaving Piphane.

Below: Signing a pilgrim book.

Below: The Pyrenees draw closer. The landscape has begun to undulate a little – I think we’re nearing some foothills. The mountains disappear and reappear, a little bit closer each time.

Below: An entertaining sign along the path. The snail was a common pilgrim theme in France. Note the bird saying “Bon Courage,” a typical greeting from local villagers.

Below: The “Pilgrim Tree” in Vignes, covered with all kinds of paraphernalia. In general, since Aire-sur-l’Adour, I noticed a lot more pilgrim “stuff” around – scallop shells nailed to fence posts, distance updates to Santiago – but fewer actual pilgrims.

Below: There seemed to be a lot more evidence of the modern pilgrimage these days, compared with near Le-Puy. Here, Ori places her rosary from the Le-Puy Cathedral around the neck of a plastic squirrel on the Pilgrim Tree.

Below: We met this incredible family in Fichous-Riumayou. They’re from Switzerland, and they walk part of the Camino every year (they started at home). Each kid carries their own backpack, and the father wears full medieval garb (including a heavy, black woolen cloak with at pointy hood, a sizable knife on his belt, and a silver diadem over his long, flowing hair). Just like a medieval pilgrim, he carried his gear in bags slung over each shoulder. Of course, we referred to him as “Boromir.”

Comments are closed.