September 8

Arthez de Bearn to Navarrenx 32km

I am just about to reach the Basque Country tomorrow. This region has its own language and you may have noticed the place names have lots of letter c,q and z in them. Not the usual French spellings. 

I stopped to look at this lovely Abbey 

At the back of the church was a row of leaflets:

In addition to the usual languages there were leaflets in Gascon, Basque, Catalan and Galician. 

Today’s breakfast:

The French have lots of jams on the breakfast table as well as plain yoghurt. The record on one Gite I stayed at was twelve different types on jam all of which were homemade. I really like the fig jam. You choose what flavour of yoghurt you want to eat by putting a spoonful of jam into the yoghurt pot.  

My host in this small Gite cooks in a restaurant during the day and cooks for pilgrims in the evening. The trout was delicious last night. He is a good cook!

It was a grey morning again – good for walking and covering the miles towards the border. 

Today the route was more road than path. 

There was a glimpse of the hills in the distance

And a pretty village

Are these cats dangerous ‘guard’ cats I wondered that had been let loose?I kept to the far side of the road away from them to be on the safe side. 

I passed a pilgrim rest place that was decorated with sayings in two languages

There are a lot of signs along the way saying things are private. Sometimes they are on roads, sometimes on fields, often there are signs declaring the hunting in a forest to be private. This was an unusual variant:

“Private property. Access only for walking pilgrims”

This was what lay behind the notice:

A shelter in a shed. 

I failed to post this last night. I didn’t seem to have time! There was a pilgrim service in the church in the evening followed by drinks in the presbytery. It is a busy life being a pilgrim!