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    • Day 69

      At Bourriot-Bergonce

      October 6, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      This is a tiny township you probably wouldn’t find on a map, but we are again at a lovely guest house in the countryside, not far from our chemin. The 2 French women who were at the château 2 nights ago, were at our place last night and here again tonight. Last night it was just the 4 of us, so better for us, but they had to tolerate our French! They are nice - one lives in the centre of France and one in the south near Marseille, and are going, like us, to St Jean Pied de Port. There is another Dutch couple here tonight who are going all the way on to Santiago.

      So today’s walk was not at all what we expected - a continuation of the same straight train track path amongst pine trees. For one thing, the path no longer was the very perfectly crushed gravel even surface - it was more like our normal, uneven stones, grassy centre with muddy tractor tracks, and it wound round a bit, didn’t feel as if it was the same thing continuing for ever. Also, I suppose it is obvious, but a pine forest doesn’t consist of rows and rows of tall trees - there were areas of trees of all different ages and sizes, and it was quite varied, and also a surprise was that till almost the end, the actual path was lined with oak trees!

      At one stage, just about half way through, we had to divert and zig zag a bit to cross an autoroute on an overpass and from there you could see the huge extent of the forest in all directions more than from the ground. Shortly after that we officially entered Les Landes, a new department. And this was another surprise - specially as the forest is the Landes Parc Naturel - we found ourselves walking beside an enormous open area of farming land - not just a few fields, but hectares and hectares, with the huge watering systems etc - which I think was just corn. They were loading huge sheds of cobs onto a truck, and another truck was collecting the leaves and stems…anyway, we weren’t overwhelmed by just pine trees.

      There is a big military base at Mont De Marsan where we arrive on Friday (and have a rest day Saturday) and we see and hear their extremely noisy mirages flying round. Amr says to report that we are behind enemy lines, but as pèlerins we can get away with it.

      So we walked about 24 kms, including from our guest house last night back to the track, and our rather shaky start on the wrong road! We went via the boulangerie for lunch supplies, and when Amr set off confidently I said I wouldn’t have thought it was there, and was glad he remembered! But for once he was wrong and after almost a kilometre he was convinced too, but we asked a man at a motor mechanic shop who directed us up a road which joined the right chemin so we didn’t have to go all the way back to the church and start again. It was funny as for once we thought it would be so easy to find the camino from the small town! And again the path was totally flat - not good practice for the Pyrénées foothills which will be coming up in the next week! But it was good for us today. Tomorrow we only walk 14 kms to Roquefort, and stay in a hotel.
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    • Day 39

      Day 37: Captieux - Bourriot-Bergonce

      September 20, 2016 in France ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Distance: 21k (867.7/975.3)
      Weather : 22C, some clouds some sun
      Mood: Needy
      Blisters: 1
      Staying at: Gite La Maillade

      It's the little things

      So that toe actually really hurt quite a lot and it "forced" me to say goodbye to the guys I was walking with. I didn't want to feel like a burden, slow them down and I also really wanted some quiet time again. Boy, did I have a low point later in the day. I felt trapped by the camino, cause walking hurt and there was no place nearby to go.
      But of course there was... I manned up and walked 5 more kms to the only sleeping option between Bazas and Roquefort (my plan was to walk the full 35k) and there I found a large Gite all to myself.
      I called it not so luxurious, but spacious to one of my fellow pilgrims, but I didn't get it yet. The Gite had all the little conveniences you miss on the road. A sofa, a washing machine, a bedroom and house to myself, Good WiFi, real towels and a bath.... After I watched a movie in the bath, at 7.30 the lady brought me a cooked dinner. I made a fire in the fireplace, caught up with family (over the excellent wifi) and fell asleep like a baby. As a pilgrim you do really learn to appreciate the little things again. Now, bring on the next stop, cause my halfway point and Spain are getting very close...
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Retjons, Ретжон, 雷特容

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