Our travel day from Aire-sur-l’Adour to St. Palais yesterday was better than expected even though it didn’t go according to plan. The morning bus “missed us” (long story), so we caught the afternoon bus three hours later instead. It connected with a later train and the same bus to St. Palais we were originally going to take. We had no “layover” time in Puyoo that we would have had if we’d caught the morning bus – a bonus actually. Instead, we spent three hours checking out the bull ring in Aire-sur-l’Adour and having lunch by the river. Perfect! We made it to St. Palais in good time.
When we left St. Palais this morning heading to Larceveau, a man spotted us from his upstairs window. He knew we were confused about which way to go, so he came down to his gate to give us directions. Further along, another man stopped his car to point the way. Then we were off with no further problems.
The scenery in the foothills of the Pyrénées is breathtaking! “Climb ev’ry Mountain” popped into my mind when we started climbing the first steep hill. When we reached the top at 10 o’clock, church bells down in the valley started chiming, “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” That’s what I imagined anyway.🎵 🎶
Gone are the grape vines, corn fields, and sad looking sunflowers of two days ago. We are now in the pastoral zone where cows are friendly and sheep snooze in the shade. A “mustering” of storks took off in perfect formation at the same time a garbage truck stopped because cows were crossing the road. What looked from a distance to be a hillside of very small white sheep turned out to be ducks. They were raising quite a stink – literally! There was a friendly but sad looking horse by a fence that looked like he would like an apple so we shared ours with her.
We love Basque Country with its white buildings and red roofs and shutters. We are staying in one tonight at Chambre d’hôtes Maison Hego Alde in the small village of Larceveau. Guillaume, our charming, young host told us that the Basque language used to be forbidden but that there is a school in Larceveau which teaches all classes in the Basque language. He said he doesn’t speak Basque and that very few people do. Teaching children the language will help revive it. Most signs here are in both French and Basque.
Today was our second to last walking day and tomorrow we will arrive in St. Jean Pied de Port. If only we had the time to climb over the Pyrénées to Roncesvalles for a “redo” of our favourite day on our first Camino in 2015. Now it’s time for a good sleep before a big day! 😴 💤