Hotel Camou (230€ for two nights)
So on to St. Jean Pied-de-Port at the foot of the Pyrenees… We are out at 8:00 AM and enjoy level walking through a beautiful countryside dotted with charming Basque villages. We’re struck by how very clean and orderly they are, with houses all freshly painted. Gardens are tidily tended and there’s no junk or clutter. We have lunch at 1:30 PM in a pleasant outdoor cafe … two salads, cheese, ice cream and coffee. Walking on, we stop to visit a quaint little church with wooden galleries, the design typically Basque. The countryside here features cows and sheep as well as very well cared-for cats, at home on windowsills and porches, and lolling in gardens. When we finally arrive in St. Jean, I am delighted at how appealing this town is. Even if swarming with tourists. I was expecting lots of pilgrims, but not shops and tourists. Our hotel is dumb! It is slightly out of town and is weird and musty. We are one of three sets of guests and, considering how busy the town appears to be, that is strange. Dinner there OK… sausage with pepper sauce, then delicious scalloped potatoes, and good roast beef. We enjoy the traditional dessert here, gateau Basque.