Hunto and Back

Maybe the last of the  rains today but it was heavy in spurts and misty fog hung in the valleys so I decided to chill for the day in Saint Jean and get an dawn-early start in the morning. I was staying in a private two-room guest house called Maison Bakea just further out on the west outskirts of St Jean a little beyond the charming petite train station. The double-room next door, and thin partitions do their bounds divide, was invaded by two nattering Korean girls anout 10pm last night who had hair deyers buzzing and kettles boiling. They started off a dawn chorus thus morning at 5.20am even before the birds started chirping. And then they were gone at before the suffused light of dawn rose to daylight.

The Pilgrim Office confirmed that the “Napoleon” was doable but would not be enjoyable. It is a marathon to be savoured not a sprint to be endured.  I told  Cornish Steve from Donegal that I would not w walk with him and so my fledgling group moved on without me. A kind lady recommended Auberge Parrois Kaserna 43 Rue d’Espagne and Carmen, the proprietaire but not the singer,  booked me in to come back after 3pm when they opened and she was impressed with my famous name! I could have walked the pedestrian “Practical Route” around the mountain via Valcarlos or taken the Napoleon Route through the mountain rains but took a leaf out of Charlie Munnger and remembered that we should try in life, as much as possible, to avoid bad decisions.
So what to do?  I hiked up to on a short trial run for tomorrow to  Hunto chatting with Peter from Sydney. I told him I was 60 and he responded that he is 74 and looks more like 64. Hunto is at 600m elevation. and a distance of 5.4 km. It was  practice or delerium and then I  came back down the winding tarmac roadlet to St Jean (170m elev) by 10.45am. Retired to Cafe de la Paix and a delicious Poulet dish and Eguzki on draft (Basque amber beer).
Checked into Kaserna and got a bottom bunk in a small room with 2 bunks and then a crazy Belgian arrived and claimed he had booked the lower bunk!

Pilgrim’s Mass at 7pm, dinner at 8pm and the sun has broken through. It will be 3 degrees Centigrade in the morning when the group leaves after breakfaat at 6.30am but it should get near to 20C later in the day.

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