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Day 34: Basque Country

We believe that the local paint stores here in French Basque country stock only two colors: white and burgundy. All others have to be special ordered. And yes, we do recognize that our Coug friends will call it crimson, not burgundy. The white walls with burgundy (all right, crimson) with the wood half-timbers painted crimson make for beautiful structures.

Another feature of Basque country is the Fronton, a high wall used for pelota or Basque Ball. Even small towns have one and some residences have a private one. While having lunch today we watched two young men play at a game—one using a paddle and the other his bare hand. I say “play at a game” because a large number of shots went out of bounds toward the bar tables. The game ended when the ball bounced into the bar. I think the owner thought they were endangering her customers.

We’re pretty excited because tomorrow:

  • Will be our 20th straight day of hiking, followed by an off-day.
  • We leave France and enter Spain.
  • We finish the French portion of our pilgrimage, and start the Spanish portion.

Today was another hot day with some difficult climbs. It was shorter than usual and we started early to beat some of the heat. Fortunately much of it was through shaded forest lands with some great views. We saw lots of sheep and I was able to confirm a comment made by Tom on our post with the sheep video—they don’t speak with a French accent, they speak Baaaasque. I’m sure that he arrived at that conclusion using his advance degree from the University of Washington.

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