Poor internet and a good time with friends and friends of friends in Ostabat. Sunday in St Jean Pied de Port brings little improvement to Internet, but the start of a much needed day of rest.
The Gite just outside of Ostabat was an excellent place and had a nice surprise. During the singing of Basque songs before dinner (repas) I got a note from my cousin Joycelin with the name of the relatives of her close friend (Bernie). It turned out that I was actually staying at the house of the relative (Lucie & Bernard). I got some photos and gave them best wishes from California which was appreciated. It’s one of those things which is so bizarre as to leave a person with not much to say but just smile and keep singing. Your relatives wish you the best Bernie!
Off this morning for the last 20 km walk in the first half of my adventure. St. Jean is a little short of actual half way, but it’s 738 km from my starting point in Le Puy, and 780 km to my destination in Santiago. This is the starting point for most pilgrims, and time to bid adieu to my walking friends Hermann, Helen and Nick. Hermann is headed North for the Camino Del Norte, Nick is going to walk tomorrow over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles in Spain, and Helen will take a bus to meet him. They’ll be heading back to Sydney before long having completed the Spanish portion of my walk last year. I will miss them all.
My walk across France took me 36 days which is almost 22 km per day. I am kept from having a swelled head by the fact that Ian from Melbourne (who is almost 70) did the same walk in 22 days. So I have someone to try to emulate.
My stats for the 36 days:
Lucie says hi to Bernie from CA
Arrival at half way
Classic St Jean Pied de Port photo
The four walkers say adios