The Asson town church bell awoke us around six, shortly before sunrise. It was still raining. With no bistro or boulangerie in the immediate area we settled for bowls of Futurelife we'd brought from home for breakfast. We did the morning packing ritual, which we'd perfected during 25 years of backpack hiking back home. No worries there.
When we poked our noses out the door at eight, lo and behold, the sun had broken through! So we set off cheerfully on a few kilometers of farm roads until we got to the village of Bruges where we paused on the town square to buy a baguette, a tin of anchovies and two tangerines.
By now it had heated up enough for us to pack away our jackets and fish out the suntan lotion from our backpacks. Mitaget was the next town on the list, a pretty, historic town that apparently was an important pilgrim town nine hundred years ago. As we walk along I spend a lot of time imagining how it must've been for those brave enough to make the trek to Santiago back in the 12th century. Just think of all the stories tied up in that history! I'm surprised no Hollywood director has yet made a big budget epic drama against the background of the Camino of the time.
We make a point of going inside each church we pass, and it was no different in Mitaget. I love the musty smell of the older churches, love examining the worn floor tiles for markings. The folks of years gone by were fond of leaving graffiti in churches behind....
We paused for lunch just before the road started climbing steeply towards the town of Saint Colome, and we caught a glimpse of the first snow-capped peaks. We were now entering the Ossau valley that will take us into Spain. Between here and the border at Portalet lay 1500m of uphill! We were now tackling the first of those metres.
We reached Arudy around 6pm, after a relatively easy 15km walk. We seem to fill the day with walking, no matter the distance. There's just so much along the way to take in, it's a shame to rush by.
After last night's hunger games and mattress-on-the-floor bed we were in the mood for something comfy so booked into the Hotel France on the town square. Rugby fever permeated the town, and everywhere blue and yellow banners were spurring the local team on.
We settled in the largely empty bar for beers, had an average dinner at the hotel, and off to bed. A nice, easy day of pleasant walking.