It was raining when I woke up. It was still raining when I was ready to leave. I waited until nine, but it only got heavier, so I headed off.
The rain pattered down on my Tilley hat, running over the brim, some of it somehow finding its way down the inside of my shirt. I splashed through puddles, as little rivulets ran down the tracks in the farm roads. The cows turned in unison to watch me in that stolid bovine stance, wondering perhaps what on earth I was doing in the rain, not realizing they were standing in it themselves. Water-logged fields shed their water into the ditches, which soon became brown raging torrents, too much for the culverts to handle. In places, the overflow had cut a stream across the dirt road, and lower parts of the highways were flooded.
Some night crawlers were out on the pavement, the longest I have ever seen, more like intestines than slugs.
I was wet and cold and somewhat miserable, and I walked non-stop for 20 kilometres, unable to take advantage of the many benches alongside the little groves of fruit trees planted by the Amis de Saint-Jacques Pyrenees Atlantiques. Carelessly, I had let one of the legs of my rain pants get stuck inside my boot, so one foot was squelching. And so much for the quality of the waterproofing of my Patagonia jacket: my Guidebook, which I keep in my pocket under the jacket, is a sodden mass. And rain is forecast for the next two days. I was hoping the heavens had emptied.
I am staying with Isabelle at La Borde de l'Hopitale at Viellenave sur Bidouze. I arrived at lunchtime, so she invited me to dine with her. She was kind enough to do my washing as well. Isabelle is an excellent hostess with a wry sense of humour. I am very comfortable here. Good tucker.
Occasionally at gites the toilet paper can be in short supply. Not at Isabelle's.
This was the wettest day!