Wednesday, May 9, 2018

St. Jean Pied de Port

Finally arrived in St. Jean Pied de Port. I pictured a small town but it is far from it. Maybe it’s not a big place but it is full to the brim with people. People everywhere. People walking, people shopping, people eating and drinking, people just hanging around. People of every size, shape, nationality, and apparent ability.

And the excitement. It hangs in the air like incense, or the smell of burnt popcorn hanging everywhere at the carnival.

Went to the pilgrim office to get my first pilgrim stamp in my Camino stamp book, and the women seemed so excited to see me and start me on my journey that she gave me her tube of toothpaste with enough left inside for at least 3-4 days. She wanted to save me the trek across town to the supermarche to buy some—even though i went anyway (without telling her).

Weather forecast is saying that i will be walking in the rain tomorrow. :-)

The woman who checked me in tonight tells me that the albergue where i intend to spend tomorrow night (in Roncevalles) sleeps about 180 people. They accept 60 advance reservations, with the remaining 120 beds going first-come first-serve. So, if i want a bed, i have to be inside the first 120 people arriving in town. Otherwise, the next town is another hour walk down the road.

She also said it takes between 7 & 8 hours to get there, but she did it in 6.5 two years ago. I have no idea what to expect. I’m no slouch, but have no concept what my competition is, this being the night before seeing anyone else on the road.

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