Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 32: Navarrenx to Aroue (18 kms)

Leaving Navarrenx

Yesterday was a bit of a tough day so Robin and I were looking forward to a shorter day. The weather was also in our favor with no rain in today's forecast. We had our breakfast and headed out. A beautiful day greeted us, and we crossed the bridge out of town at 8:15. We picked up our GR 65 marks and pushed on. We have been walking a lot on rural roads. Today was the same. We had a few moments iffy road, but they were mostly muddy connections from one road to another. Not much climbing on today's dance card, which was fine with us. We simply enjoyed our more relaxed pace, as we kept an eye out for glimpses of the mountains. There was nothing to speak of open for coffee, snacks or lunch. We did find one place open and stopped in for a coffee. Not surprisingly we found several of our fellow pilgrims already there enjoying a coffee. The owner told us Aroue, our destination for tonight was only 8 kms ahead. We thanked him and headed out onto the Chemin for another couple of hours. We have found that guidebooks, road signs and local knowledge all can be at variance. One just has to be resigned to the fact that you get there when you get there. Onward we went across open fields (still corn) down a few wooded (and muddy) paths, and along side a lot of roads (mostly quiet), until we reached Aroue. This more of an intersection than a town (sorry). We stopped at the communal gîte, our lodging for tonight, and found a sign that had our bed assignments on it, as well as an invitation to get yourself settled in. Madame would attend us at 5:30. As we arrived a bit early, at 1:15 we had some time to kill. We did the usual chores, and went up the street a few meters to the one shop in the town, a cafe, cum pizzeria, cum mini mart. This was it for business in Aroue. We sat down and had a beer, ordered sandwiches for tomorrow, and ordered a pizza for dinner (pilgrim haute cuisine). We were told that the woman who runs our gîte sells wine and a few basic food items as well. Everyone is anxiously awaiting 5:30 when the goodie locker opens to see what is behind door number 1. Will it be tuna, and clothes washing tablets, or will it be some other mystery ingredient. But, there is always the pizza shop as well. I am going for the pizza. I am sitting in the backyard of our gîte looking out to the Pyrenees, and enjoying how they look in the low afternoon light. It is quiet, peaceful, and there aren't many other pilgrims here, as yet only Robin and I, and three others. The place is fully booked, but it only holds twelve people, so it should not get to noisy. For now, until the goodie locker opens, I am content to just be still, and that is where I will leave it for today. Peace be with you, as it is here in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Navarrenx wakes up
Robin at the city gate
Offering a prayer
From the church
GR 65 marker
Part of today's trail
Our coffee stop
Fellow coffee lovers
Robin and Anna



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