Day 40: Orthez to Sauterre de Bearn

Today,s walk is dedicated to my nephew Gerry. He is a cancer survivor and hopefully remains cancer free.

Tough walk today. Some major hills. The Pyrenees are getting closer and closer so our terrain is becoming more and more like foothills. The countryside is absolutely breathtaking. The French are so lucky to be living in such a paradise. I often felt that if God were to live again on earth he would live in Oregon. And while I still believe that to be true I have to admit that France would be a close second:

Went out for dinner last night in Orthez. Finally some life on a Saturday night. It was fun. The two ladies with us are Pilgrim volunteers. They are both from Paris, speak absoultely no English but are real sweathearts. Both lost their husbands. The other guy is Philippe, an engineer from Luxumburg, who has been walking with me for the past few days. Speaks excellent English.

Then there is Arek, from Poland, who is walking in search of something. It is funny but all of the younger pilgrims I have met all seem to be searching for something. Hoping to find what they are looking for, whatever that may be, whereas us old farts have found it and are now trying to get rid of it…weird!

The two women you see there had to quit due to an injury to one of their knees.

And then there is Marcus.  An Austrian who is doing this pilgrimmage with his dog. Now I do not know if his dog is dying or what as I did not want to ask but Marcus is pushing his dog in a carriage all the way to Santiago. If that  isn,t a true bond I don,t know what is.

Another young Dutchman from Belgium showed up but like all of the other young dudes was totally into some parallel universe. I thought all of that hippy stuff disappeared with the onslaught of disco and bell bottoms. I guess I was wrong. But we all thought this Dutchman was a Pilgrim fraud. And why anyone in their right mind would want to pretend to be a pilgrim is beyond my comprehension. But then again I must have a screw loose as well to come to France ( they said) and walk 900 kilometers.

” Hey honey”

” Yes dear”

” I was thinking of going to France this summer and walking 900 kilometers in 34 C  heat. What do you think of that?”

” Fine dear, now take out the trash please.”

Milestone today: day 40 in my pilgrimage and I have walked 852 kilometers. And I saw a sign today that indicated directions to St Jean Pied de Port…wow!

Two more walks.

Great song for driving and a great song for walking. “Jessica.” He wrote this for his young daughter. This was a big hit when I lived in Hawaii in 1973/74. The double lead makes it unique:




9 thoughts on “Day 40: Orthez to Sauterre de Bearn”

  1. ‘Another Dutchman from Belgium showed up but like all of the others was totally into some parallel universe.’
    That is what you wrote…., dear John.
    At first: there are no dutchmen from Belgium!! Of all canadians i have met you are the last person i thought who would make that mistake.
    And second: In what universe did you think i was in? I still hope it was in the same you weer in. 😉
    Anyway you are doing great, and i remember Philippe, we all slept together. While big tattoo boy was watching over the toilets.
    Enjoy your last walking days, i enjoy your blog.

    1. Berry, Berry, Berry. That was a joke. Like Yannick the Danish guy from Finland. Last evening a youngih Dutchman from Amsterdam stayed at the hostel with us. He was a stoner and when you asked him a question he was like,wow man. What would Gaia say, too weird. Like tbat French hippy we met with the family…Orion…remember. So that is why I wrote that that way. Thisguy was really weird and a stoner.

  2. As a comparison, your distance to date (DtD) is similar in distance to walking from the Peace Arch border in BC to Medford, Oregon. As they say en francais, “incroyable, garcon.”

  3. Bravo John! Tu as presque réussi ton but!!!!! We were at your place today with your Swiss friends and we had a wonderful visit!!! They are very excited to see you once your walk is finished!!!! Keep trucking! You are almost there! Well done, we are super proud of you! Titus and Jeannie.

    1. Thanks Jeannie and thanks for looking after Ruth and Pascal and their friends. Apppreciate it….John

      1. No problem!!! Did you get the pictures that Titus emailed you of our great time over the weekend?

        1. Yes, fantastic pictures. Thanks for doing thatwith Mike. I hope they had a good time and liked the house….John

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