My English guidebook describes this stage as “the first really hard day, best done in fine weather.” Mother Nature had a different idea: rain, mist, thunder in the mountains. I decided to walk the roads in the valley with some French hikers I met yesterday. It was a boring wet walk. Now, in the afternoon, the sun is out. I wonder if I made the best choice.
I didn’t see Vincent today, a very experienced French hiker I met yesterday. I wonder if I’ll see him tomorrow and he’ll tell me it was no problem in the mountains and I missed a great walk.
That’s the problem with choice, you never know how much risk to take, especially with something you haven’t done before. If I knew today’s hike, the ridge walk in particular, I could have made a better decision. I’ll never know, although the lightning was probably best avoided.
St. Étienne is a pretty little town. This is Basque country and the people are proud of it. Traditional architecture and hearty Basque cooking abound.