Not the Hilton…

Today we took a 7 hour trip to St Jean Pied de Port from Paris sitting across from an arrogant French man who looked at us with disdain when we told him he was sitting in our seat.
I’ve heard about the disdain of the French against English speakers. I must admit it’s made me shy to ask for help these past two days.
Most people are lovely. Only three have been rude. Three rude people in two days is fine.
I meditated for the first hour of our journey. At one point I turned to Michael and said “can’t we just go back to Paris and hang out for 5 weeks?” He knows I’m joking. Holidays with me generally include some kind of challenge.
When we stop at Bayonne we see other pilgrims for the first time. We size each other up silently- not yet ready to say hello.
40 pilgrims travelled on the same 2 trains and bus with us from Paris to St Jean Pied de Port.  
One of the pilgrims has a beagle. Michael is so happy. He loves dogs and has a particular affection for Beagles. 
We have massive packs. I feel that I’ve not brought a lot with me but my 50L pack is full. Some pilgrims have packs half the size of mine- Michael’s is bigger than anyone’s.
Tonight we have to shed a few things to lighten our loads. Do we really need four towels? (For instance). When we packed we both agreed we wouldn’t bring anything we couldn’t throw away at some point… 
When we arrived we all looked confused about where to find our accommodation and headed en masse to the information centre.
I left it a little late to book accommodation and couldn’t find a bed in one of the pilgrim hostels so we booked a hotel.
Michael and I bought our Compostela (a passport we will have stamped at each stop) and got directions to our accommodation 2km away.
We got a bit lost and a lovely French couple gave us directions. In French.  
Very fast French.
We weren’t 100% sure what they said but followed where they were pointing and found our hotel.  
Reception was closed…
Just as we were about to give up we found this sign. Hilarious.
We have a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen, shower, dining area and deck. Michael wasn’t thrilled. (He’s in for a shock when we start staying in hostels.)
So that’s two lessons for today:
1. Pack lite
2. Know where you’re going
3. Book early
Tomorrow we start our walk.  
  

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