Day 35 and 36

No wifi yesterday. Two posts here. Al most into my last week so each walking day will have a dedication:

Day 35: Bourriot Bergonce to Neuf Fontaine

Today,s walk is dedicated to my wife Marijke, who passed away last December.

Neuf Fontaine means new fountains in English. I can’t wait to see these new fountains??? I think.

Given that I described the Pilgrim’s life over the past two posts, I’ll briefly describe the landscape we experienced over the past two days in two words……..ugly!

This area is called Lalond in Aquitaine. It used to be a huge swamp that was subsequently drained. The soil is of a rough textured, charcoal coloured consistency. Very flat and monotonous terrain. Hot and dusty. Our trail was a narrow pathway on ground that was sandy loam. Very difficult to walk in. Added to that we had the smidgens again, which I desribed a few days ago. With temperatures in the low 30s it made for a very hard slog.

It is like walking through sand dunes. We have had 2 days of this. Expecting a third. Yuck!

Forgot. Want to show you where we stayed in Bassanne:

Place is called Moulin de Piss, translated to piss in the Mill. No, not really, but there you have it a  restored 15th Century mill (Moulin). Don,t know what Piis is in English and I was afraid to ask.

Captieux was a small village, nothing open. Unbelievable that there was no wifi anywhere in that small village. People in Bourriot Bergance were very unfriendly. My walking companion, a European, was disgusted. He could not believe how anal the place was. I told him that these places would be bankrupt in two months in Canada. I am sorry but I just do not understand the mindset. It is as if, as customers, we are a huge burdon to their ”Riesta” routine.

Couple we stayed with in Bazas. Wonderful.

Now back to our regular programming.

One of the pleasures of this walk is the silence…deafeningly serene.

Some of you have expressed concern about my well being and enjoyment of this journey after reading my posts about the Pilgrim,s life. I can assure you that those posts were done purely for the fun of it with my tongue firmly in my cheek.

 

Day 36: Neuf Fontaine to Mont Marsan

 

Today,s walk is dedicated to Joanne Daly. Another beautiful woman taken from us way too soon.

Ran into,or should I say, walked into two Dutch women today. One was quite elderly – the wicked witch of the west – and her younger cohort – the witch in training. Now I say this because they were some piece of work. My Dutch friends, Berry and my Limburg friends would be very proud of me for sticking up for Limburgers.

This woman was fron the north of the Netherlands. Exactly where I am not sure but she immediately gave us a bad impression. Remember a way back in post one or two and I mentioned that Dutch guy from North Holland who was such an asshole. Well this lady could have been his mother. I like to call her a lass-hole. She was religious, rightious and retentive in an anal sort of way. When the expression anal retentive came into being they must have been thinking of her. She didn,t at first know that my wife was from Limburg, the Netherlands or that I had visited the Netherlands many, many times and was intimately familiar with the Netherlands and Limburg. Here is what she said: Limburgers are a bunch of farmers who cannot properly speak the Dutch language. Nobody north of Eindhoven can understand a word Limburgers say. Limburgers are ignorant people who should be part of Belgium. Hag n slag, that chocolate delight for breakfast, is Limburg,s contribution to the world. She did,nt know what it was….and on and on she went.

She looked down on us as part of the unwashed. I told her that as a pilgrim she was part of the great unwashed herself and uncouth as well. When she walked into a French vilkage the dogs went wild. I told here that Limburg vlie (pie) was to die for and that being a Limburger meant a love of life. With her, life was suffrage, suffering. No fun, no joie de vivre. Just suffering. She probably passed out of Pilgrim school top of her class. Because to her being  a pilgrim meant real suffering, no fun.. Her favourite expression must have been “ grin and bear it.” Her favourite colour was black and after failing to walk on water it was her kind that invented the wooden shoes. What a piece of work. We parted company tout suite.

The walk itself was uneventful. We are getting closer to our destination. It will be bittersweet for me. Wanting to finish but not really wanting to end this wonderful experience.

Covered off 24 kilometers today. Overcast and cloudy, just like our Dutch female cohorts. Hopefully we will not see them again but somehow I doubt it. Like a bad cold these two will probably linger on. Oh, and she was always correcting me like an old school marm on steroids.

Need a positive song today.

14 thoughts on “Day 35 and 36”

  1. Wow, these women must have been from the Dutch Reform Church. Hard to imagine there still people like this out there. Viva Limburg. We are leaving Friday John so this is my last comment. I admire you for completing this incredible feat. An experience to remember. See you when we get back.

    1. Good luck Gerry. Have a great time and don,t worry about a thing. Say high to Sharon for me. See ya when I get back.

  2. Wow, you do meet some interesting people, not always fun people but interesting ones. Keep a weather eye out for her and just pull up your pilgrims cowl (or hoodie) and walk on by. Hope you are staying in a 5 star hotel at the end of your journey, or is that not allowed either in the Pilgrims Code.

  3. First John I want to say that you were dedicating your walk to Joanne made me feel so good. She indeed left us too soon 16 years ago on August 16th…a date that will forever be in my mind. Thank you John.
    I loved your description of that lady..you indeed meet quite an array of people on your journey. I’m not sure how you held your tongue because if she was as pompous as you described her, I’m sure I would have told her to eff right off and keep on walking. I don’t get it. Most people I met were so mellow as they were doing their Camino from the soul or from the heart. Life is too short to be so miserable…it’s actually very sad.
    Sounds like an incredibly tough slog through those sand dunes John…just makes the beer or wine at the end of the day taste that much better doesn’t it!

  4. Hallo John, today i am in Le Mans, a city almost in the middle of France. Travelling whith our Kip- caravan towards the south. I do not think i will make it to Saint Jean Pied de Port in time to meet you there. Sorry about that. Good for you to meet those Dutch ladies. They must have made you laugh inside. And humor during a long dull day of walking is always good. So maybe you are lucky and you will meet them again 😀😀. When we will meet is hard to say. You almost finished your camino, so i think probably when you are doing the second part , the camino Frances.

  5. It takes all kinds to make up the world….luckily they are few and far between 😖. It’s hard to believe you are on the last leg of your trek! Love the blog!!!

  6. Hi John, it sounds like you are having a blast, and yes meeting all sorts of people….never a dull moment! Yet I am glad to hear that you are really enjoying this experience.
    This is the big wedding week-end for us, so crazy busy….
    Keep safe, keep smiling! Lynne

  7. I can’t believe how ignorant some people are! I guess it takes people like that to appreciate all the kindness in the world! Hard to believe that your journey will soon be coming to an end. Where else will you go before you return home?

    Things have been busy for us. Jeannie and pj returned to school this week and Mikey is getting ready to start a new project. We are doing well, but looking forward to hearing all of your adventures and to telling you ours! Bon courage jusqu’à la fin! Titus and Jeannie.

    1. Going to Lourdes then Switzerland to see the Savarys when they return from Canada. Excitedabout that. Thxs for looking after them in Victoria. Lookimg fwd to seeing you guystoo…Dad

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