arjenboorsma (arjenboorsma) wrote,

Santiago de Compostela IX Day 88 (Hagetmau-Orthez) 28 km

Sunday October 6, 2019

Mme returns us to Hagetmau after a breakfast with real fried eggs professionally prepared by her husband! A treat after all the days of breakfasting on French bread and jam.

We start walking; just outside of Orthez we have our first glimpse of the Pyrenees! Quite awesome!
One can imagine how impressed mediaeval pilgrims from the low countries must have been by the sight of this wall of stone stretched across the horizon!

The day goes very slowly. Desmond's shin splints/possible sciatica/swollen ankle, which have been bothering him for days now, have become really painful.
After a while it starts to rain and continues to do so most of the day. Because it is Sunday, the boulangerie in Hagetmau didn’t sell sandwiches and it looks like we’ll have to skip lunch until in L’Hôpital-d’Orion we come across a fancy restaurant in the woods filled with French families having Sunday lunch. We hesitate but it turns out there’s another room behind the bar where we can have a small lunch. I have an omelet, Des has a Salad Landaise again.
We both have a glass of vin rosé.

Farther along the way we come across the Woman of the Woods, a spry older German woman who has been wandering along the caminos of Europe a couple of months a year for the past twenty years.
She appears from behind a tree where she was apparently eating her little lunch and walks with us a ways. I find it hard to walk and talk at the same time so I drop back and let Desmond handle the conversation. Just before Orthez she leaves us as suddenly as she appeared - off to set up her little tent in the woods.

We walk on into Orthez - a magnificent mediaeval citadel set on a hill. Our hotel is strange and a bit unfriendly but our bags are waiting for us.
We have dinner in a pleasant eatery with French radio playing and locals having a pre-dinner apero.
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