At one point today, I came across an excavator, digger, and dump truck working together to dig a deep trench in the middle of the path on a narrow country road. They occupied the entire width of the road and I had to catch their eye to be allowed to pass. When I finally did, I had to squeeze by in the thorns beside the road.

Also today, I passed the meeting point of the Camino routes from Paris, Vézelay, and Le-Puy. Meeting pilgrims from all over, combined with the transhumance (animals everywhere!), made for an interesting day.

Below: I walked alone today for the last time. Because Manu and Steven were waiting for us in St-Jean, we decided to postpone the rest day we’d been planning and proceed directly over the Pyrenees on the morning after our arrival (i.e., on May 11). As a result, Ori took today off to make sure her feet were up to tackling the mountains. I was out the door at 7am on the dot, and this is the sunrise I saw over Lichos.

Below: Ori picked a good day to skip. It was extremely hot and humid, and the 27 kilometers I walked today consisted of nothing but Pyrenean foothills with ever-increasing amplitude. Alas, the cool mornings are quickly forgotten when the sweat is pouring down your brow.

Below: We were now official in Basque country, and all the signs were bilingual. Note how strange Basque is – seemingly unrelated to any other European language.

Below: Another sure sign – Basque pelota courts in every town and village.

Below: I’m not sure if these corn-drying cages are officially Basque, but we saw lots of them in this part of the Camino, too.

Below: At the gîte in Ostabat, we discovered a cardboard box full of kittens (and mama cat). The gîte owner told us we could play with them, so we did.

Below: I suspect we were responsible for introducing the kittens to the world outside their box for the first time ever.

Below: Mama cat was not pleased.

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