Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day 14. Mont-de-Marsan to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. 82 miles

A bit of a marathon today but the routes I'd selected for the first half of the day was pretty flat. Getting out of Mont-de-Marsan was slow as my minor road wasn't signposted. It turned into a very rutted road that had clearly been abandoned by the authorities. But, after that, plain sailing.

I met Brendan for my first lunch at Puyoo, which sounds charming and quaint, but is actually a railway and road junction.

The next 10 miles were horrendous - not because of the main road traffic - but due to the switchback gradient profile. Three summits, followed by long downhills. The last climb needed my lowest gears. Got there though.

Second lunch at Sauveterre, a small town with views of the Pyrenees.

The final 25 miles to St Jean were on the main road, but there was a cycle lane, of varying widths, most of them way.

Campsite in town centre.

Currently sitting in a bar watching the world go by and using the bar's wifi. B is having Basque lager called 'Eki' and I'm having une bolee de cider du pays. All the signs and place names are in French and Basque, but haven't heard any Basque spoken so far, and not sure what the. French Basques would want to do if the Spanish Basques got political independence.

In the church at St jean-Pied-de-Port

Tomorrow will be a big day. If all goes well I'll climb over the Pyrenees on the bike. And arrive in Spain!

PS - still haven't quite worked out how to post photos. I managed for one day, but not sure what I actually did to achieve it. [Note - sorted this problem a few days into Spain, but now that I am back home, I am adding in the photos that got missed first time round.]

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