Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 5 Navarrenx to Uhart-Mixe

Welcome To Basque Country - Fries !!!

On a clear day you can see forever. Today was a clear day and forever in the distance were the Pyrenees; so impressive and massive. They completely dominated the entire horizon.

Our Sports Bar gite last night may not have offered an evening meal but it sure offered generous hospitality. Dayton and I waited until the socially acceptable hour of 7:30pm before going out for dinner. We decided to just pick up a pizza and eat it at the tables on the patio of the Sports Bar. Not wanting to appear cheap or take advantage, I went in to order a couple of red wines. The host brought them to our table and said they were gratis from him. After devouring our vegetarian pizza, Dayton went into the bar again, ordered another wine and tipped very gratefully. Ten minutes later our delightfully friendly proprietor brought us out two delicious creme caramel with some liquer drizzled through it. Wonderful and tasty.

We got started fairly early this morning, no petit dejeuner, and left went out under the arch of the huge bastion. After a couple of hours a sign welcomed us to Basque country and not long afterwards we arrive at an Accueil Pelerins - a welcome rest stop for pilgrims. Lo and happy behold, drinks and fries were available. Although it was just before 11am, we had already walked four hours and I figured that a plate of fries was well deserved despite the early hour. They were great and carried me through the next several hours. It was a long confusing way into Uhart Mixe but once again we have scored a great place. It's connected to a restaurant/bar so we can have a glass of rosé (Yes, rosé - my new afternoon delight). Our laundry is done and we just have to rest until our evening meal.

The evening meal, Basque cuisine, was unbelievably sumptuous and wonderful. Catering to the vegetarian was a wonderful vegetable soup, then a platter of salad just for me featuring beets, grated carrots, rice, tomatoes and I was also served a huge, huge bowl of a Basque tomato and peppers stew. My salad should have served six people. The carnivores had the tomato and pepper stew but with sausage in it and it was covered in huge slabs of a country ham. From the groans of culinary ecstasy that were being invoked, I think it was very good. Dessert was fresh fruit, cheese and a chocolate custard pudding served with some sort of liquer. I couldn't identify or translate the name of this after dinner drink but it was watermelon pink, on ice and demanded two extra-strength Advil to deal with its aftermath. Had to have it as we didn't want to insult our lovely hostess Antoinette who I think hired on the entire Uhart-Mixe community to prepare this bon repas. The chance of losing weight walking thirty kilometres a day is getting slim to absolutely none. It's more likely that we won't be able to get our pants done up.

Tomorrow we go to St. Jean Pied de Port - well over 30kms and so far we have been unable to make reservations there. Apparently this upcoming weekend has a huge holiday so everything is booked. We have faith that poor pilgrims will not be left homeless. And then this weekend we tackle the Pyrenees!

BTW - Antoinette got us a reservation at Auberge de Pelerins for tomorrow. Yeah


  1. So soon to St. Jean. Following your blog with excitement. Having fun here: rain, sowing seed, aerating, grass cutting, feeding fish, cleaning garage - not whining cause it's done with a laugh. Ha. Enjoy my friends.

    John and Linda

  2. Just catching upon your blog this morning. Great camino and great postings. I feel as though I am right there with feasting with you. The meals sound incredible. I sense a foodie at heart on the loose in France.

    Bon chance and buen camino,