T minus 0.
Bus ticket: €1
Train ticket: €10.50
Daily total: €56
It is D-Day. Transit day. I woke early at about 6.30 am. I had a few more things to check in relation to my pack.
Hubs woke early to cook a hearty breakfast to send me on my way. I got dressed in my gear and did some final checks. Both hubs and son were excited for me but I cried. Whilst I could not believe that a day I’d waited for so long was finally here, I was at the same time feeling extremely homesick at having to leave the family for 6 weeks. It was a bittersweet moment.
Walking with a back pack takes some getting used to. I’m just not used to how space I take up, and in crowded London, I feel like I’m banging into people. I also found it difficult to manage all the different pockets. What do I put where?
As we queued to board our flight at Stansted Airport, we were spotted by another peregrino as being peregrinas because of our boots. I guess if we were going to the beach in Biarritz, we’d have been in sandals. We stood in line chatting. They were looking for pilgrims to share a taxi direct to St Jean that night. Unfortunately, I could not join them as I had already paid for accommodation at the Hotel de la Gare in Bayonne.
Oh, but I so wanted to. I couldn’t wait to get started and I felt annoyed at myself for being so “organised” and booking in advance. I caught the local bus which took us to Bayonne about 15 minutes before the bus leaves from Bayonne to St Jean. Aaargh. If I’d known this in advance, I could have gotten to St Jean that night.
Stick with the plan, I had to remind myself. After all, it was a plan made with the best information to hand, without leaving me in a lurch. But I won’t deny that part of me was annoyed with me for being so organised that I couldn’t experience spontaneity. Ah well, just another something else to break through.
- For those wondering how you can get to St Jean without pre booked taxis with Express Bouricott, you can easily round up pilgrims to share a cab.
- For planes from London that arrive at 5.05 pm, you can catch a local bus that arrives at the train station by 5.55 pm. This leaves you with enough time to get your transport to St Jean.
- Currently, there are no trains as tracks are being fixed. Only buses.
- There is an additional bus to St Jean that leaves at 9.15 pm. This was not on my timetable.
- The first transport in the day is 7.45 am. You arrive at 9.30 am. It takes 20 minutes to orientate and walk into town.
- There are no toilets at the train station in St Jean – even though there is a sign at the front noticeboard showing a toilet.
What surprised me
- The camaraderie experienced once we knew we were talking to another pilgrim. It was not wierd in the way that it would have been otherwise.