Tuesday 08.04.2014 Hagetmau – St. Palais
65 kms 725m (min!)
Phew, and phew again. What a day! If we thought we were upping and downing on Friday and Saturday, that was just the warm up! However, we certainly feel a sense of satisfaction and also a little more confidence in that the Pyrenees will not defeat us, even if we do have to do a bit of walking – or even quite a lot of walking. Actually walking does not in any way describe the activity of pushing a bike and Herman or Sherman up a climb! Nonetheless, in mitigation, the weather has been dry and cool with only a slight wind which was behind us – a very novel experience. Old nostril wind will undoubtedly make a come-back at some stage.
One of the great advantages of either walking or pedalling very slowly uphill, is the opportunity to observe nature in the verges. Why we try to tame our gardens to the extent that we do (or some of us anyway) seems almost an insult the natural flora. There are just hundreds of beautiful plants of all shapes and colours which thrive in spite of the traffic. Marvellous!
In case, dear reader, you are interested in my general observations, which I have to admit is a displacement activity, I am bemused by the proliferation of hairdressers in even the tiddliest villages which have no other form of life! Must be a lot of hair around.
We have also seen and, even explored in some cases, an awful lot of churches; to be expected really in view of the fact that this is a pilgrim route. I suspect the church photos will end the way of our mountain shots- “Where was that?”
Well another day has almost ended and we are ensconced on a delightful hostel for pilgrims or folk who are following this route. It’s an old Franciscan monastery looked after by a delightful little lady. For a room and breakfast it is a bargain at 24 Euros!
We are looking forward to our night’s rest and giving my elephant time to rejuvenate. He has taken a bit of a bashing today. I suspect the same will be true of tomorrow. Bonne nuit!
Passport stamping – a new hobby