maslacq < lagor < pau < pyrénées-atlantiques < aquitaine < france
This day I pass through Arthez-de-Béarn, a little village that is not small but narrow, sitting on a ridge, and extends about 2km from one end to the other.
I will always remember the hospitality I received there and how happy I was to find roasted chicken in the little corner store on the plaza.
I remember the man who walked by, while I was sitting on a curb in a small street near the small plaza, eating my lunch, who smiled and shouted, “Bon appetit!”
I won’t forget the man who stopped his car on a one-way street, blocked the traffic behind him until I understood the danger, who rolled down his car window and shouted to me in French, “Don’t drink that water. The l’eau portable tap is on the other side!”
I was touched and charmed by the little elderly lady who walked slowly with a cane and who asked if she could help me. I was sitting in the little plaza; I had dropped a small centime piece in a grate; and she wanted to help me find it and get it out.
DAY 32 Pomps à Maslaq (peut-être 19km) sur Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.
After an excellent lunch of roasted chicken–the French know how to cook the best roasted chicken–and after some kind kind and helpful words from the French, I continued, maybe with a light step, on the Way to St-Jean.
Out in the middle of–where?–no where, one comes upon a shelter and frankly a welcome sight even though no one is there to greet you. How often have we taken chairs for granted?
On the chemin the chair can be a true friend. It has supported me. It has comforted me. It has kept me dry in a shelter. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
As mentioned earlier, I see the Pyrénées daily now. They are always blue. Blue blue. I am very familiar with the Sierras in California, so the Pyrénées do not seem so awesome and commanding. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
At some point along the way, you will see signs that offer a short detour to see the Chapelle de Caubin, a restored Romanesque chapel. Nearby are gardens and some tables for a quiet lunch.
Unexpectedly, in this section of the chemin during the last days of the journey, I encounter places of rest. Locals have taken the time to provide shelter and sometimes food.
I had to cross a freeway. I stopped and watched the cars and trucks whiz by and disappear underneath me. A surprise and a reminder that my days on the trail were numbered.
When I arrived in Maslacq, I checked into the Hotel Maugouber.