First Day of Hiking. August 7th 2012.
A shaven headed young man with a Chicago twang and a backpack is eying ours and yelling, “Hey, are you guys going to Saint Jean? Wanna split a cab?”
“No thanks, it’s only an hour on the train”, I reply.
“Suit yourself,” he smiles, as a car pulls into the lay-by beside him, “I’ll see you there.”
That afternoon, in picture postcard market town of St Jean Pied-de-Port (Saint John [at the] foot of the pass), Rob and I join the queue at the Pilgrims Passport Office; a small community hall furnished with foldout tables. It is best, a leathery old woman with a clipboard informs us, in broken English, to avoid the full force of the mid-Summer sun. Starting early each day will ensure us a place at the next hostel and help us avoid sunstroke so we must not walk now, but get a bed for the night and rise with the birds.