Monday, May 30, 2011

29 May - St Jean Pied de Port

 We were collected by Caroline and another driver in two vehicles. One went straight to St Jean while ours went to the airport to collect Janet and another passenger. This pilgrim had started in St Jean and walked to Santiago and was coming back to St Jean to collect her bags which she had left at the B+B in St Jean. Poor thing was limping and using a stick - she,d hurt her knee going down the steep hill to El Acebo two weeks earlier. We chatted on the way and discovered that we knew each other through the Forum. She is Carole aka Crazy Woman from Brisbane and I had given her some advice about arriving late in St Jean and where to stay.
The road through the Pyreneess twists and turns and a few us started feeling nauseous so Caroline stopped in a lay-bye so that we could get some fresh air.
We had a lovely time in St Jean where we met Tim who had reserved our table at a restaurant. After lunch we went to the Pilgrim office to get our credencials stamped. Tim invited us to his lovely B&B Errecaldia, a wonderful place to stay if it is your first night in St Jean and you have Jet-lag or need to get over a long journey. A good place to stay is  contact Tim at
It was very hot and we we all bought ice cold water for the return trip to Roncesvalles.
We checked into the la posada and had a drink outside. Eugenie and I visited the new albergue which is quite impressive. It sleeps 170 pilgrims - 2 bunk beds in a cubicle - stainless steel kitchen, vending machines with food to heat in the microwaves, cold drinks, sweets etc.  There is a new hotel in the old monastery where I slept in crowded dormitories in 2002.  It is called the Hotel Roncesvalles and looks very smart!
We had our credencials stamped and on the way back to the Inn saw Linda sitting outside the Casa Sabina. She had walked for 11 hours from St Jean.
 We had a great pilgrim menu - pasta, trout and chips or patata tortilla and salad, yoghurt, wine and bread for 9 euro.

 After dinner we had a group briefing and finally got to bed at about 11pm. We have decided to send some stuff on to the next albergue. I have a large gift packet with presents for people along the way and Pam and I have both got large folders with paperwork to send ahead as well. Buenas noches for now.

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