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aroue-ithorots-olhaïby in the basque country

From Navarrenx to Aroue, I figure it will be three more days before I finish walking Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. I am tired, not of walking but of the routine. I want to do something else.

Looking back over the photos I have taken, I see that my subjects have not changed. What I see does not change from day to day. The prompts for a photo have not changed. After a month, I am ready to crack the day-to-day routine I have lived since the start of the journey.

I told a friend I should be able to find something each day. There was something there. After all I am entering the Basque region of France.

DAY 34 Navarrenx à Aroue (peut-être 18-22km) sur Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

Along the way you can visit the Église d’Olhaïby, a small Romanesque church. Strange looking words and names appear: Etcheberria, Jaurriberria, Archelako, Quenquilenia, Uruxondoa, Hiriburia, Larribar-Sorhpuru, Harambeltz, Uhart-Mixe, Ostabat-Asme–all names that do not seem typically French.

Leaving Navarrenx for Aroue one must cross the pont over the Gave d’Oloron. The bridge was built around 1080 to help pèlerins make their journey south to Spain. Once you cross it and turn to the right, you see a crucifix that reminds one why the chemin exists in the first place.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

Bless those who live along the Chemin. Many have set out tables and chairs for the occasional pause. Others offer food. Sometimes a shelter from the storm beckons. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

As one approaches the Pyrénées the countryside looks more green. Streams appear and woods offer more shade. The corn fields are forgotten. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

Off in the distance is the final destination, the Pyrénées. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the last city on the journey, is at the foot of those mountains. There my journey ends, and there the journey of others who will walk the Camino de Santiago into Spain begins. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

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