We walked out of Arudy along a quiet street next to the Ossau river, then a short stretch along the busy main road and finally picked up a dirt track almost all the way to Bielle, which was the capital of the Ossau valleu in ancient times.
It's a remarkably well-preserved viilage where I first noticed the typical 'barn door' entrances of older houses that is a tradition in the region. A keystone above the door carried either the family crescent or a religious motif meant to protect the home and its inhabitants. I took a series of photos of these doors here and in Larudy, hope I can turn them into a poster or something later.
We had a quick packed lunch in a small park replete with antique fountain in Bielle before continuing.
We followed a very quiet secondary tarred road running through open farmland. Twice we came across Pyrenees Shepherd dogs guarding sheep in fields. While they look extremely cuddly they kicked up a massive fuss when we gave them any attention. A sign we'd seen in Mitagad the previous day cautioned walkers not to look at 'Patou', or bother them at all. They have a job to do!
Once in Laruns we looked up the Albergue L'Embaradere, only to be told we could only check in at five. Strange, since the place was deserted anyway. So we sat down at a sweet-looking creperie on the town square for an hour or two before returning.
The accommodation was in a smallish room stuffed with three bunk beds, our first encounter with Camino-style living. I hadn't slept like this since my long-gone days in the Army. Oh well. This is the Camino, not a package holiday.
So we washed up and walked to a nearby restaurant, Le Arrègalet, that looked like it served local fare.
Here's how the ordering went.
The owner-chef, who looks totally like Gerard Depardieu, comes round to take our order. Adeline looks at the menu, which is all in French. She decides on "La Dios" something-something.
He looks at her doubtfully.
"You know what 'La Dios' is?"
She doesn't of course.
He points vaguely to his head.
"Pig's cheek, nose, ear".
She had it anyway, and loved it. My trout with mushrooms was the best I'd ever eaten.
The Camino is being good to these two foodies.