St Jean Pied de Port (“Foot of the pass”) is a quiet, scenic Basque town founded in the 12th century. It is located at the base of the Pyrenees, on the French side, about 8 km / 5 mi from the Spanish border and has a population of about 1,750. The town is the old capital of the traditional Basque province of Lower Navarre.
And now that you know that little bit of knowledge I am also going to inform you that I did not start my Camino on the French side but, on the Spain side. One reason is that the pass over the Pyrenees is closed. Rather than wait the four more days or do the walk around that is more roads than trails I am starting at Roncesvalles with my good friend Rick, aka Rico who has just two weeks of free days.
Right now I write to you from inside the cathedral. A one euro coin per few minutes guarantee that the lights stay on. Literally. Also piped in music.
Tomorrow we hike the 20 something kilometers to the stop for the evening Zubiri.
Really really slow WiFi so pictures may have to wait.
Last night we stayed in the city of Pamplona aka running of the bulls city made famous all over the world by Hemingway’s writing.
The hotel heat I never quite figured out perhaps something to do with tapas and consumption of wine. I would get up when the heat became unbearable.
Turn on the A/C even though it was cold outside. Then possibly Rico did the same to manage the heat always working opposite of me.
Finally I gave up and opened the windows. This morning my skin was all wrinkled meaning I must’ve finally collapsed from exhaustion and fallen asleep.
Our 65 Euros taxi ride to Roncesvalles from Pamplona was a better option than 22 euros each bus ride. And much faster.
Our 60 euros room at an old monastery in Roncesvalles. Below is where I am hanging out now.