Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 29: Aire-sur-l'Adour to Arzacq-Arraziguet (34 kms)

Pilgrims departing Airet

Rested after a good night's sleep, we set out for Arzacq at 8:30. One of the things we did not expect was the number of people walking this part of the Chemin. It is a bit hard to estimate, but I would guess we have 60-70 people walking with us each day. They just pour out of their lodgings, and suddenly the street is filled with departing pilgrims. Today we had a new donkey in the mix, bearing a flag that stated the man leading the donkey was walking in support of medical research. He also had a box on the donkey's back to receive a coin in return for a photo. We passed on that and made our way through the early morning pilgrim chatter and out onto the GR. Today's forecast was for a clear morning followed by a 60% chance of showers in the afternoon. The air temp today was a bit cooler hitting 65 F by early afternoon. I walked in a long sleeve t shirt, and Robin wore a short sleeve shirt and a rain jacket to start. We both had on our rain pants. We climbed, refreshed, out of Aire and kept a pretty good pace most of the day. Early on we walked quite a nice path alongside a lake, that led us to climb into the world of massive corn fields on the other side. All morning it was nothing but corn. The terrain was flat, and the fields extended as far as the eye could see. Way in the distance we could see the colorful backpacks of those who departed early moving through the fields. There was a lot of road walking today. It seems the GR 65 followed farm, and other rural roads for the better part of today's walk. We fell in line with other pilgrims and marched our little conga line through miles of corn. We arrived at Miramont-Sensacq for lunch, and flopped down at a public table where two Frenchmen were having their pilgrim lunch. We introduced ourselves, and tucked in. Food before conversation was the order of the day. We were starved. We had walked 18 kms, and still had 16 more to go. But, Robin was doing very well, and it seemed we had the steam to make it to Arzacq. So, off we went. The one big difference in the afternoon walk was leaving the flat cornfields behind and entering rolling hills once again. The afternoon was just a series of ups and downs as we made our way across this changing terrain all the way to Arzacq, where arrived, footsore, at 4:30. We checked into the Hotel Vieille Auberge. The rain never fell while we walked, but now with dinner behind us light rain is dampening the streets of Arzacq. We will see what tomorrow brings. Saint Jean Pied de Port is now another day closer. All around us pilgrims are feeling the anticipation of arrival day. Many are continuing on to Santiago, while others will be returning to their homes and jobs. For Robin and I, the pilgrim road still stretches to Santiago where we hope to arrive in early July. For now, we are off to bed. Another day on the Chemin with all its wonders and challenges. Bon nuit.

Saturday market in Aire
The new donkey
It's all about corn
Pilgrim shelter
Part of the GR today
My favorite pellerine
Lunch stop at Miramont
Our lunch table
Changing terrain
Up she goes
Almost home for the night


1 comment:

  1. When we walked there were so many groups starting from Aire-sur-l'Adour that we had trouble finding accommodation both there and on the route for the next few days. There'll be lots of French groups on the road now, making use of the upcoming Ascension and Pentecost holidays, both of which get turned into long weekends by the French! But by walking such a long stage today, you may have got ahead of the groups a little. You have sunshine again- love the light you have in these photos.