Arrival in St Jean Pied de Port – D-Day Minus One
And so we arrive in St Jean Pied de Port. 36 hours of so of travelling and we are walking zombies. Luckily we’d already booked ahead at L Esprit du Chemin a small albergue/Refugio (place only those people on the Camino can stay at). L Esprit may be small but it’s a legendary albergue for it’s warmth and hospitality.
Our stay was no exception. Greeted out in the street before we’d even arrived we were given a glass of port and invited to sit down. 20 or so other peregrinos (people who walk the camino ie. pilgrims) were already seated. Everyone took turns to introduce themselves and explain why they were on the camino. Some people had already been travelling for two or more months. At least one couple had walked this far from Holland!
We then had dinner which created a gezzelig (Dutch word for friendly, warm, welcoming atmosphere) place that did the Dutch volunteers running the place proud. After dinner we popped across the road to get our Compostela card. It’s kind of a passport for the road in which we will get stamps to prove our journey and which will eventually result in gaining our Compostela issued by the Catholic Church. The kind lady there gave us some useful bits of planning material but warned the weather had turned a bit and it had been drizzling all day.
Then back across the road for quick showers and a hop into bed. Tomorrow it all starts with an arduous 27 km hike over the Pyrenees. “What are we doing here”, I think before I fall asleep.