Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 28: Nogaro to Aire-sur-l'Adour (28kms)

The gathering clouds

As Robin and I walked out of Nogaro this morning, well rested and ready for the day, the sky showed some spots of blue. This was our encouragement, earlier to opt for hiking pants instead of rain pants. The forecast was for showers in the morning and then clearing in the afternoon. We made a quick stop at a bakery to pick up something for lunch, as it was very likely we would not see any cafe or restaurant along today's route of travel. As we climbed easily up towards the church we met a German girl who has been part of our Chemin family. She walked with us for a couple of hours, as we shared stories that helped pass the time. Soon after leaving Nogaro astern we saw the clouds thickening. No blue spots now. The rain started to fall, gently at first, then increased to a steady moderate rain. The wind was kicking up as well, and the air temp was trying to reach 60 F. This required adding rain jackets, but due to no sheltered place to change our rain pants stayed in our packs. The wetter we got the faster we walked. This was the story for the day. Everyone on the Chemin today had shifted into high gear trying to get to a warm dry place as soon as possible. We did catch one break at the village of Lelin Lapujolle, where we found an enclosed toilet area, next to the church, that was open. This place quickly became a mini Grand Central Station as every single pilgrim who walked into the village wedged into that toilet. It also happened that it was just about noon so soggy sacks of food materialized as well. This was our chance to get out of our wet pants and into our rain pants. We quickly got that done and started to feel a lot better. As I looked back on that very pilgrimesque scene, I realized that the only one of our group who was not in the toilet was Victor, the donkey. He stood stoically silent alongside the church enjoying wet instead of dry grass for his lunch. He seemed cool with that. We wheelied out of the village trying to generate some body heat. We were able to make pretty goods time as much off today's walk was either alongside roads, or on flat open paths. Some people complain about road walking but in wet weather off road paths can be a nightmarish slog. The afternoon wore on with Robin and I giving it our best to keep warm. The scenery was nothing special so it was head down and march on. This continued until we crossed the bridge into Aire at 2:30. A quick stop at the Tourist Office (first on your left after the bridge) to locate our hotel, and then to the cathedral to offer our prayer for the day. It is now 7:45, and after a carry out pizza and a bottle of wine we are almost done for the day. Robin still has the hair dryer going trying to dry our boots, but all else is done and tomorrow awaits us. So, off with the hair dryer and into bed. Good night from Aire-sur-l'Adour. All is well.

The toilet area filling up
Not in the toilet, but happy
Late in the day it started to clear, a bit
The path into Aire
Arriving Aire-sur-l'Adour
The Cathedral in Aire



  1. Bought a new watch in Aire sur Ardour and first day in Spain gave my other watch to Margaret of New Zealand and it worked on her arm much better than on mine!

    1. Yes, and I wore it again in 2012- kept reminding me of you. Eventually the strap broke when I was in Spain.