Q & A Section
We had several good questions of general interest (sorry, Tom, not yours) so figured we’d cover them today.
Q from Jim R: What is a gîte?
Most nights we stay in a gîte which is a usually a privately owned home. It can be a standalone place (see yesterday’s post where we stayed with Raquel) or it can be in a row house, especially in larger cities. Sometimes we’ll share a communal room or we might have a private room. The most we’ve had in a communal room was seven of us. If we have bunk beds, I get the top and Laurie the bottom—a husbandly sacrifice. Showers and toilets are often in a common area but are private. Quite a range in quality because they are privately owned—these aren’t tightly controlled franchises. Some gîtes are run by a church or local town. On occasion we also stay in a hotel or an apartment we find though booking.com. When we get to Spain, the term gîte will change to Albergue.
Q from Sue B: What is the usual fee for the places you spend the night?
Communal gîtes run about 35 euros each including dinner and breakfast. We’ve also stayed in some that were “donativo” where you paid what you could or thought they were worth. Chambre d’hotes or gîtes with private rooms generally run about 45 euros each, including dinner and breakfast. Hotels including dinner and breakfast were 60-70 euros each. The euro is close to par with the US dollar. Add about five percent to the euro cost to get the true dollar cost.
Q from Teresa S: When do you cross into Spain? And are you just a week from the finish line?
We are scheduled to cross into Spain on the 22nd of this month. It will be in the town of Irun on the northern coast—the Bay of Biscay. We are less than a week from A finish line, the end of our French Camino. Then, the Camino del Norte section starts which is just over 500 miles.
Another scorching day but we’ve settled into another comfortable, air-conditioned, gîte. During our stay last night in Navarrenx was in a great gîte called Le Cri de la Girafe (the cry of the giraffe) where we had an excellent communal dinner. The city also sponsored a pelerin welcome with a local wine sampling afterwards.