Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 19: Not Much Happened. . . Really!

Dscn0622bAugust 30: It rained lightly for much of the night, and I heard some thunder rolling around in the distance as well, but neither disturbed me during the night. The tarp did its job well keeping me dry. The complete lack of wind certainly helped as well.

By morning, the rain had stopped, but it still looked like it could start raining again at any moment. So it was nice to start the day dry, but I still fully expected to get quite wet sooner rather than later and packed my backpack accordingly. Even the guidebooks I normally keep out for reference went into ZipLock bags, as well as the camera in my pocket.

The day’s walk wasn’t particularly interesting. In fact, much of it followed roads through small suburbs to my final destination for the day at Aire-sur-l’Adour. It would be a short day of hiking with a mere 20 kilometers, but for wet days, that’s more than enough.

I stopped briefly in the town of Borcelonne-du-Gers when the trail passed a Carrefour, a large supermarket that I went wild in. I still couldn’t figure out how to get a stupid shopping cart, though. *grumble*

Unbelievably, it never did rain on me. The clouds looked ugly the entire morning. The weather forecast called for rain all morning. But for whatever reason, the rain held off. If I was a betting man, I’d have lost that bet. But fortunately, nobody would have taken such a bet in the first place—nobody would have considered it a good bet. =)

Walking into town, I stopped at the Hotel Le Relais des Landes and asked if they had any rooms available. Yes, they told me, they did have rooms available, but I couldn’t check in until 1:00. I looked at my watch and saw it was only 11:00 in the morning. I had two hours to kill before I could take a shower and clean up.

Although I couldn’t check in, they did allow me to store my backpack while I wandered around town for a couple of hours. I hit up the tourist office for a tampon, and hit up the post office for another type of stamp. I bought postcards and wandered up and down a couple of the main streets, then headed into a church as the first sprinkles of rain started. I stayed in the church reading a book (no, not that one—it would have been in French anyhow and I can’t read French) and wrote some postcards to kill time.

At 1:00, it was still sprinkling, ever so lightly, but I walked back to the hotel without using my umbrella and checked in.

After I showered, I washed my clothes in the bathtub and hung them around my room to dry.
For dinner, I headed out to a pizzeria a couple of blocks away. The pizza was awful—like they threw a little cheese and mushrooms and stuff on a piece of cardboard—but at least it filled me up and I headed back to the hotel for the night to catch up on blog posts. =)

One exciting moment came when the trail crossed the path
of this sprinkler system. Rain, no—sprinklers, yes!
I managed to get through when the sprinkler was faced
in another direction, though.

A small little welcome center for pilgrims.

Following along the railroad tracks into town.


It would have been hard to miss this particular supermarket.
The trail goes right under the sign!

The traditional red-and-white stripe markers had
been replaced with this new waypoint along in this area.

Hanging out in the church to avoid the rain while waiting
for check-in time at the hotel.

My hotel didn’t look particular busy when I finally checked in…

The pizza really wasn’t that good, I’m sad to say…

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