Day Twenty Seven

I wake up late again, not as late as yesterday but it must have been 7am… Today looks better but there is a real chill in the air.
The plan is to get to Sauvelade today, it’s 30km away but Sylvie has booked beds in a gite for all four of us.
We set off together, the four of us. It’s late again and the day is heating up fast. Todays walking is broken up by plenty of hamlets & villages. By 11am we are in Arthez-de-Béarn, so we stop for a drink. As we plan our next step, we decide to make a tiny shortcut as the GR once again goes in loops just because a landowner doesn’t want people walking round their field! (I’m not even going to start to rant on this subject right now).
Lucky for me I have GPS using the Viewranger app on the iPhone. (You’d think I’d get commission for all this good advertising I’m doing for them). We cut maybe 4km from our trip. Definitely worthwhile, but just as we’re about to rejoin the new GR (I say new as our shortcut actually showed signs of being the old GR65), Sylvie crys out in pain. She is a fairly big lady, not fat, but without doubt stubborn. She has been walking for nearly two weeks with a tendon problem in one of her ankles. Now she cannot stand. After some commotion, Sylvie has to sit and rest while we carry on to Maslacq, which I estimate to be about two kilometres away. Marcus is carrying his bag and Anettes, while Anette carries Sylvies.
Maslacq is a ghost town, the village shop is closed, the bar is closed for another hour. We sit and wait. An hour later we have our drinks as Sylvie turns up and is immediately put on the side of the road for hitching. She heads in the direction of Sauvelade, as we head in a totally different direction?! It’s gone 4pm by now.
Back on the road, in the heat of the day. I have to ask myself why I am torturing myself like this. I enjoy the company I’m in, but by starting so late I’m just dying in the heat.
We finally arrive at Sauvelade Abbey at about 5.30pm. I’m near boiling point. The one saving grace is our host is coming down to pick us up as her gite is off the GR65 (which means it’s not cheating)!
Our host Bernadette is a very vibrant character, her gite ‘Nadette’ is on a hill with views over the Pyrenees. A pool to one side, a new car port with a very old Peugeot convertible in to the other. The house as so many different levels, with some amazing furniture. It turns out she’s madly in love with the local blacksmith/ironmonger. Such a lovely host and a lovely little house.
After almost 30km today I’m now only 74km from my last stop in France?!

The Pyrenees today have looked incredibly with such a glorious blue sky above. With all this beautiful scenery around me, I’ve found the day difficult. I think mainly from starting so late, which meant I suffered the heat. I hope tomorrow is better.
And yes if I sound down I am a little right now.
Tomorrows another day!


About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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