Section 6: St Etienne de Baigorry – St Jean Pied de Port

No chance with the weather! Rainy since the very beginning of the day. Still, we were determined to keep going. The way wasn’t hard, but it was raining all day long. We left St Etienne de Baïgorry and headed toward the pic de Munhoa. We were moving slowly passing through kind of balcony with a perfect view of the valley, but not this time. The fog was preventing us from seeing even each other from further than a few meters.

Around midday, we had a lunch. We found, what seemed at the beginning, a perfect spot. I left my backpack and took some food and headed toward a fallen tree that was supposed to be our picnic table. Well, I wouldn’t be myself if I hadn’t slipped. Covered with mud, I stood up, raised my hands and with a dose of optimism I said: “I saved our mustard”. My optimism, however, started soon disappearing once I tried to change myself. My clothes were dirty and wet. When I finally got myself changed, I wanted to get my backpack and keep walking. Well, I wouldn’t be myself if I hadn’t slipped for the second time. Well, this time there was no place for a humor. I changed myself for the second time, however, all my warm clothes were wet and dirty. I was so pissed off! I was dreaming about a hot shower!

Once we got to St Jean Pied de Port, first thing was to find a campsite. It wasn’t difficult, cause there is a great one almost in the city center. With our tent set up, I went to a laundry, I really needed to wash my clothes! In the laundry, I met an English couple. They were walking the Camino de Santiago. We had a nice chat. They told me about their adventures, plans, etc. In St Jean Pied de Port, the GR10 is crossing with the Camino de Santiago. In town, you are meeting all the time  the “peregrinos”.

We were exhausted. We found a nice restaurant “Chez Edouard”, where we had some really good burgers and a glass of sangria. When I’m exhausted, I talk a lot. That day I discovered that when Iwona is exhausted, she laughs at everything. Then she cries because she’s laughed too much. When we were eating, she had her attack of uncontrolled laugh and then she was crying. I couldn’t stop myself and I started to make fun of her. In the restaurant, there was a waiter with a very nice accent, that was even stronger than ours! At the end we wanted to pay, so, as we always did in Paris, we told him “we would like to pay”. He laughed and then said “Oh that’s great! I won’t have to run after you”. Well, it was later that we understood that in this region you don’t pay at the table but rather at the bar.

We had so much fun that we forgot about my laundry! When we got there it was after 9 pm. And the laundry service was closing at 9 pm. We were lucky that the owner was there and she even let us use a dryer machine! I cannot believe how many helpful and nice people we met in the Pyrenees! 

We spent a night on the campsite Plaza Berri. The town offers many other possibilities. There are groceries and it is easy to buy some food supplies. You will find some restaurants, as well as a train and bus station.

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