I wrote up my notes for this post at 10.30pm in what must have been the noisiest eatery in Irun. Spaniards don’t go out to eat until at least 9.00pm. I don’t know how the children keep their eyes open. They all look as bright a buttons with the thought of bed not having entered their minds.

It was a great feeling crossing the border between France and Spain this afternoon. (3.05pm). I had to imagine the border because it’s an imaginary line drawn along the centre of a river dividing what appears to be the one town which is called Behobie by the French and Benobia by the Spanish. Nonetheless I stood in the rain for a short time to savour the moment. I still vividly recall crossing from Italy into France. I
feel so comfortable here in Spain. It’s like being home again.

The weather today has been such a contrast with yesterday. It was 20 degrees, raining on and off, with a dull, forlorn sky overhead. However, it was terrific for walking.

Part of today’s route took me past my last look and French farming countryside with its cows and corn, sandwiched as it was between a motorway and another main road. I got off the track a little ending up at a stone crushing plant and quarry where one of
the workers stopped me going any further. Had I taken his advice about what direction I should take I would still be out there. Instead, I took to a scarcely trod path and ended up back on the main road soon enough surprised at how close I was to Irun which I could see in the distance from the top of a hill.

My current estimate is that I’ve now covered around 1,700 kilometres. The completed journey won’t end up being 3,000 kilometres, but it will still be a decent

I managed this afternoon to get a new mobile telephone number and new service provider for my internet at a location not far from my hotel. I thought this might not get done until tomorrow so instead of having two night’s here I’ll now be able to start my walk tomorrow.

All the way down the coast from Bidart there are constant references to the Basqueness of this part of the world. As I sat in the cafe finishing off my meal around 11.00pm a parade with several bands all wearing red berets went down the
street. I think the red beret is a Basque signature. I recall them being sold in a shop
in St. Jean Pied de Port before I started my first Camino in 2007.

It’s now time for my French Quiz.

Q. What type of rubbish is most prolific alongside French roads?
A. Cigarette butts and their packaging.
Q. What will make me happy not to see for another 10 years?
A. A crop of corn.
Q. What animal can I now barely tolerate?
A. A yapping French dog.
Q. What’s my favourite French food?
A. A freshly baked baguette with thick, brown crust.
Q. What food can’t the French make?
A. A simple salad.

Where to from here? Santigo de Compostela, of course.
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