Gandalf says, “there’s your Ryanair flight.”


T minus 0.


Steps: 8030


Bus ticket: €1

Train ticket: €10.50

Accommodation: €44

Daily total: €56

Dear Diary

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.

Handy info

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Currently, there are no trains as tracks are being fixed. Only buses.
  4. There is an additional bus to St Jean that leaves at 9.15 pm. This was not on  my timetable.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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

  1. 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.