Day 42: Ostabat to Saint Jean Pied de Port

Made it. Safe and sound. This calls for a celebration:

Day started off beautifully. Just look at this sunrise in Ostabat:

Now 22 kilometers to Saint Jean Pied de Port across some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see:

I arrived and finished:


Last night a real Basque farmer entertained us in song. Of course we had to sing along or hum or yell whatever because Brunet had a very loud and booming voice:


Walking today brought on a barrage of emotions. My friend Ted was right about that. I thought about everything since starting this journey. I thought of my wife, my children, grandchildren, the scenery, what to do for the rest of my life. But it is impossible to remain sad, despondent or depressed about your situation in life when you experience what I have experienced for the past 42 days and the array of characters and individuals, crazy or normal but all unique, that I have met.

I look ahead with renewed hope and optimism. How can I not when walking among these hills,these valleys, these farms, meadows, mountain tops and morning mist. It is a scene that is impossible to describe. Only some heavenly inspiration could possibly capture the beauty and essence that nature has given us here. As I look ahead at the bluest morning sky I have ever seen – a blueness that was captured in my wife’s eyes – deep blue, crystal clear and magnetic – and the sculpted mountain peaks in the distance, I can see a thousand “Davids, “ nature’s masterpieces everywhere I look. This area is unbelievably beautiful. And that is what gives me hope and the will to carry on. God’s gift of nature’s beauty to all of us.

I think of Marijke. Someone I have lost. I feel for my kids and the wonderful mother, friend and fan that she was to them. In her eyes, as in all mother’s eyes,they can do no wrong and like nature’s “ David” are perfect human beings in their own right.  And for that I am thankful. Thankful for the renewed hope that that thought brings to me. I am sorry Mark and Mike for your loss and sorrow but together we can live again in her memory. I know we can.

That is it. No more tears, no more sorrow. Just life!

I can only think of one song that could match the beauty of this morning’s walk:

A few stats:

42 days;

900 kilometers;

Averaged 25 kilometers per day;

990,000 steps

On average I spent about 40 euros per day;

Stayed in a hotel twice;

Camped 10 times;

Had 2 rain days and 6 rain nights;

Never got sick;

Shoes, socks, pants and tees held out. At least I think they did. The “haz-mat” team may think otherwise.

And like a good pilgrim, I suffered.

Tomorrow will be my last post.



6 thoughts on “Day 42: Ostabat to Saint Jean Pied de Port”

  1. Bravo John!
    Your walk is like life….lots of ups and downs. I think of Marijke everyday! She was passionate about her family and friends and I will always be blessed that I was her friend! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with all of us!

  2. Holy Crap John, you made it all the way and met your ETA and RV. Un-frickin-believable! I know that Marijke is keeping an eye on you and, hopefully, easing your way. Now you need to gash all those clothes, buy new ones and find a great spa to have your mani/pedi done and get a Thai massage. Do you want me to ship you new shoes? I think I might have a pair of CF dancing shoes left over, what size to you need…..

    1. Lol. Good one. Hey,how was the wedding man? Off to Lourdes today. Have to find accommodations. Cheap seats are now over. Of well…..John

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