Today we had an easy route, even though it was very warm, and made the crossing from France to Spain on a passenger ferry. This morning we quizzed each other on Spanish in an effort to change our mentality from speaking French to Spanish.
It will take some time.
We had a pleasant surprise when we were at a coffee stop and ran into a French pelerin from our time earlier in France. Isabelle speaks excellent English and worked in Australia for many years so we connected well. We didn’t expect to see her ever again but she wound up on the Camino del Norte through a round about route. Making new friends, and encountering previous ones.
We learned something unique about Basque churches. We noticed that many of the churches in this area have multiple levels of balconies around the main area of the church. One of our French friends said that in Basque culture the women could not sit with the men. The men occupied the seats on the main floor while the women used the balconies. I noted that they had a much better view. Laurie said that they are closer to God.
One thing we noticed about hiking across rural France is the lack of wildlife. In 35 days we saw four deer, one muskrat, one snake, one fox, and one squirrel. Hundreds of lizards, but no rabbits. I didn’t count the roadkill hedgehog.
We have a day off here before starting the Camino del Norte on Tuesday. So does the blog. We hope you are enjoying this adventure with us.
Q & A
From Scott B: “Will you be able to document and share your [variant] path for the future pelerins.”
We could, but to be a pilgrim is to suffer. And there was some suffering on this leg. We should spare others that? Seriously, we have been keeping notes about this more direct route to bridge from the French Chemin to the Camino del Norte. We got our initial guidance about this from a great Facebook group, including good GPS tracks. But the maps and instructions were in Italian and there was no info on lodging. I think it is a great option and we will be sharing that info, including my updated GPS tracks. The FB group that was so helpful is GR 65 Via Podiensis: Walking the Le Puy Route in France.
Scenes from the Trail
Seeing the ocean and Spain for the first time on this trip was very exciting. Making this transition is a true milestone. The French part of this pilgrimage was about 508 miles. The Camino del Norte will be another 500. Onward.