3. June 2014 19:49
3.06.14 Tuesday Argagnon to Navarrenx.
The Gite de Cambarrat last night gave us a good meal with wine, a hand drawn tampon (once the lady of the house came home) , and a seranade with a banjo by Nicholas our host. A good deal coupled with a good sleep and maybe even Tony forgave the hole in his sock and talked to the smallest of the three white hounds that went for him. Breakfast is goodwith toast coffee and some homemade marmalade, the best, almost only, mamalade encountered in France.
The route is down at first with a lot of tarmac and no mud but soon starts to go up and down as if determined to give us a good workout before the pass into Spain. We stop briefly at the old 13th C . reconstructed 19thC church in Sauvelade. The high point of this building is the thick slab of green marble from a nearby Roman villa. Found after exhaustive search lurking under the base of the stairs to the balcony.
An average day follows Ray spots a humming bird hawk moth and the cuckoo was still heard. After a good wander along a wooded ridge with distant views of the Pyrenees we decend into the outskirts of Navarrenx. We are now into the edges of Basque territories so any major spelling inadequacies that may possibly have produced criticism before can now be excused on ethnic grounds. Tim complains that his ankles that gave problems on the first camino are feeling a little sensitive, Ray who also marched rapidly up the hills on tarmac relaxes and keeps station at the rear but soon Tony is waving from a bar on the ramparts of the town, allegedly the oldest fortified town in France and both sink gratefully into a seat. Magically beer appears!
The campsite in Navarrenx is a bit of a space time warp, run by English and inhabited by caravans with English number plates. A walk round the town soon reorientates us and a visit to the tourist office, where the lady kindly showes us the information in Miaw Miaw Dodo (THE guide to the GR65) that we have already seen, completes the process. Firmly fixed in France we get two nights meals and lunch from the local Casino ( supermarket chain) and enjoy a meal of fish in white wine and garlic with potatos , green salad melon starter and choclate mousse to finish washed down with copious wine. Tomorrow is another day and we may be carrying all we eat as we delve into Basque territories.
25km 570m up 550m down.