Bonjour from Bayonne

 

The Bus to Bayonne

Came up from San Sebastián by bus yesterday, Holy Thursday before Easter. This was a mistake; this day is a public Holiday in Spain and the bus had to contend with all of the traffic trying to get out of San Sébastian and up to the airport in Biarritz/Bayonne. The 1 hour 15 minute trip became 2 hours 30 minutes. The driver seemed hell-bent on impaling the bus into any vehicle that came to a stop in front of us.

I actually had a long with the young woman from Pamplona sitting next to me. She was on her way to visit a friend in Oxford and took the opportunity to practice her English. She told me that (after the GFC I assume), when she left school she had not been able to find work (I remember that youth unemployment in Spain was very high) for 5 years. She finally set up her own shop in Pamplona selling jams, condiments and local specialities. Very impressive.

We starting talking because she had travelled some of the Camino, and she showed me online where I might buy walking poles for 10 Euros each. I saw a pair in Kathmandu in Sydney for $250!

Bayonne

I only came to Bayonne as it is the starting point for the train up to my Camino starting point, St Jean Pied de Port. I cant wait to be on this train tomorrow, and the trip up into the Pyrenees is supposed to be very worthwhile.

But I have stumbled into another festival – Le Fiore au Jambon – a celebration of the Ham of Bayonne. This is, to my mind, a fairly typical French country town – of about 60,000 people and at the confluence of two rivers, the Nive and L’Ardour. It’s centre is quite old with some of the half-timbered buildings going back to the 14th century. But this weekend it is wall to wall people and I’ve seen more hanging legs of ham than even I can cope with. There’s a jazz concert this evening at one of the riverside quays, so I’ll probably go down there to spend a little more time.

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A few other photos from thiis morning’s walk:

 

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