Where in the world are Wayne and Donna this time? travel blog

dining Turner & Dickinson style - on the platform waiting for the...

Bayonne riverfront walkway

in Europe where there's a river, there's a bridge

huge cathedral in Petite Bayonne, across the river

a bad photo of one of the pretty little villages you pass...

downtown Saint Jean Pied de Port

More driving today as we booked it to Pau, France on the freeway about as fast as our little Fiat could take us. When we got to Pau we dropped the car and took the train to Saint Jean Pied de Port. We changed trains in Bayonne and had an hour to wander along their riverfront walkway. It is an old town but the riverfront is quite nice and there are the usual old buildings and central square so typically European. Our last leg to SJPdP was on the absolute slowest train any of us have EVER been on but it sure beat driving!

All of the villages we traveled through from Bayonne consisted of whitewash buildings with brown-red shutters, door and window frames. It was so neat and clean looking against the green, green fields, hills and forests that surround each town. The Pyrenees loom large nearby and create a dramatic backdrop for these quaint villages. The train follows a river that flows serenely through the countryside which made for an in idyllic trip through southwest France.

Unfortunately the Pyrenees looming large was causing Donna a considerable amount of anxiety as we got closer and closer to SJPdP. But it turns out SJPdP is a lovely spot and before long we were focusing on finding a place to stay as well as finding the Accueil Centre, where hikers must register before heading off on the Camino. The helpfulness of the staff there and their welcoming smiles were sooooo much appreciated as they dealt with a long line-up of folks, probably asking the same questions one after the other. They helped us find a place to stay, got our luggage organized for the next day, gave us trail information as well as a list of auberges (sort of like hostels) all along the trail, included an elevation sheet so we know what each days hike will entail (WHAT are we doing and WHY are we doing this!!!). They were full of information and helpful hints with such great attitudes - we can’t possibly thank them enough for all they did for us.

A quick trip to the grocery store, a picnic dinner on John & Robyn’s balcony, a re-packing of our packs (for the third time!) and we are good to go tomorrow morning. On the trail by 8AM – OMG!!! Donna is starting to feel that anxiety again………………wish us luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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