Friday, 19 July 2013

Day 7: St. Jean de Pied Port - Orrison (total km walked: 8km) *Eurotrip - Camino*

7:30 rise and shine sunshine! Packing the old backpack. Breakfast of toasted baguette and jam or honey.  Random fact: you don't eat off a plate when eating these breads for breakfast, just off the table. Then you wipe up your crumbs and walaa! Maybe this is so you have fewer dishes to wash, haha! I dunno? 
In my first post of day #1, I thought that it was weird to only have breads for breakfast, but I am realizing now that this is the norm. 

Coffee is quite good that you get here. It seems like everyone has their own coffee machine. No one ever makes instant coffee that I have come across so far. A coffee machine is quite affordable here, about 20€.

Driving to St. Jean was so picturesque. As this is the Basque Country you see the typical white houses with the red shutters everywhere. We arrived at St. Jean and had a smoothie and then asked the waiter where I should start hiking. They showed us to the right. Then I was wondering if I have my passport and I unpacked my whole bag and yay I found it. The two boys made some jarbon & fromaige (ham & cheese) baguettes and gave me two for my journey. How sweet! It wasn't nice to say goodbye, I felt that I have grown quite close to these two guys and it was sad to leave them behind. My friend said it felt like I've been here for a long time instead of two. Days. He is not the first person to say this. He's friend from Paris said the same think, it felt like we knew each other first, but we knew each other for under 24 hours. I must have this effect on people. I think it’s a good thing? I said my good byes and was off to start my journey.

So I walked to the right and was greeted by a hill. Thoughts going through my head: why did I pack so much crap in my backpack, what can I through away, why am I doing this? Advice I can give anyone that is considering doing the Camino: pack light, like super light. I met a few pilgrims on the way which was awesome. A dude from Boston that was walking the same pace as me and we had some great conversations.

The Afrikaans man went for a nap and the Afrikaans lady and I chatted and read on the patio. At 6:30pm we were called inside the Alberge and we sat at the set tables with other pilgrims. There was an amazing buzz of energy with everyone communicating even though barely anyone speaks the same language. We were served soup as a starter which tasted much better than it looks. I had two bowls. Then we got a bean stew, thin roasted pork slices and baguette. I'm trying to stay away from these baguettes that are every freakin where you look. Hiding behind every corner, trying to jump in your mouth! For dessert we had the traditional Basque cake which we had yesterday too. There was also red wine on the table which we obvs polished. 

I sat at a table with the Afrikaans couple, a mother and daughter from Hungary and a dude from Colorado. It's the norm to ask everyone why they are hiking the Camino and I had to fight of tears left, right and centre, because I was feeling tremendously emotional. I thought that was bad, but the waiter surprised me by asking everyone to stand up and say their name, where they are from and anything else. Inspirational stuff that move you inside. 

After dinner I had a shower and then chatted to some pilgrims on the patio. It was 9:30 and it was only us four there, so I decided to go sleep. It's really strange to go to bed when the sun is still out.

In the tent, in my sleeping bag, extra provided blanket on top of sleeping bag, rolled up towel as pillow: nighty night world. Tomorrow I take on the rest of these hills. 

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