St Jean Pied de Port is a small town at the base of the French Pyrenees. It’s Basque Country. It’s also the beginning of the French Way – the Camino de Santiago – a popular starting spot, for pilgrims for centuries.
The atmosphere reminds me of Whakapapa, a ski resort on Mount Ruapehu in my home country of New Zealand, at the beginning of ski season. Everywhere I look there are pilgrims. It’s easy to pick them – there’s a uniform of walking shoes, packs, and poles and a distinct air of anticipation.
John and I have had a rest day. We’ve made a few last minute purchases: water bottles, and a dri-bag for my camera – it rained most of the morning which made me rethink that particular issue.
We’ve arranged for the bulk of our travel gear to be forwarded to Santiago de Compostela where we’ll pick it up in about six or eight weeks, depending on how we go.
We’ve collected our pilgrim passports
We’re as ready as we’re going to be. Tomorrow, we’ll lace up our walking shoes, we’ll lift our packs on to our backs, grab our poles, and begin our long walk.