Well kids the honeymoon is over and back to reality! I am so ready! I put in a horrible night sleep due to the partygoers on the street in front of the hotel. Last check 4:00 am. Up at 9:00 am had breakfast, checked out and headed with my wheelie duffel bag up the cobble street to the bus stop. Note to self: when you ask for a room on the first floor/premiere etage that is the top floor. I was on the third floor! Middle room with Juliet balcony. My room was the width you see and about the same length but very clean and the owners were very kind.
Each time the wheels of my bag hit the cobblestones with a thud, thud, thud it began to take on a musical beat. I was singing in my heart and in my head as I’m making my way to Bayonne to catch a bus to St Jean Pied de Port where my Camino will start tomorrow.
The bus driver was hilarious and said he could charge me a million dollars but today there is a sale, 1 euro! A direct bus to Bayonne took 25 minutes and I found it so quaint that the passengers exited firmly saying merci, au revoir to the bus driver. Donna smiled the entire ride.
Bayonne is beautiful but unfortunately I didn’t get to explore this time. The river, the bridge and chocolate! Very big in Basque Country.
The train station was easy to find and I walked inside to see fellow peregrinos (the Spanish name for us pilgrims). You could tell with all the backpacks. One girl said “Where in Canada are you from?” Turns out Marlow is from Toronto! Small world for sure! Marlow is travelling solo also and is staying at Orisson tomorrow night as am I. She is the first of my Camino family.
About an hour later the station filled up with even more pilgrims and then this lovely couple Angela and Nathan greeted us seeing my Canadian flag. They are from Kingston. The four of us had some laughs comparing our pack weights and the fact Angela brought a hair dryer. We then headed to the bar for a beverage (beer/wine) to wait for our bus.
The weather has turned. The rain is falling sideways and it is supposed to be a horrid couple of days. We arrived in St Jean Pied de Port around 4:15 pm. I checked into my room (again on the 3rd floor! 😳) and found my refuge for the night at Maison E Bernat. After dropping everything off, I walked uphill on rue Citadelle to line up with the other pilgrims to get our passports stamped and get my scallop shell for my pack. The scallop shell is the symbol of the Camino.
Tonight I will prepare my backpack, turn in early and update my blog. I don’t know what the services will be like in Orisson so you will likely hear from me once I arrive in Roncesvalles, Spain. Still in France, I bid you Bon nuit!