Sunday 21 st 2014 Guinarthe at Georges et Nadine’s 21 km

Last night our landlady called everywhere to find a place for us in Sauveterre- – Béarn, 24 km. away from here. All in vain. Finally, we could book something in Guinarthe, which is 3 km. before Sauveterre. Not a word about the animals, because mentioning it implies a straight no answer in advance. Yesterday evening the only internet bar of the village Ostabat was closed. So this morning, first thing to do in Ostabat is going to that bar, to update the blog. Therefore we had a late start. Again through a beautiful landscape that reminded me of the Belgian Herve landscape close to my home, just south of our Limburg hills. Beautiful weather, well indicated road. The usual pattern: horse Leon often wants to walk against me, so I get pushed from the path; calling for Tosca to hold her on the leash when we approach sheep or a duck farm. When I’m busy with dog Tosca, then Leon takes his chance , thinking it’s time for a nash, whisking his head to the right or left,  compelling me to jerk leons head upwards, almost injuring my shoulder, Tosca’s much harder head against my forehead, me slicing into the mud, GPS and an apple falling from my pocket, bump above left eye, thick eyelid. That will look funny for the film tomorrow.

From this morning Tosca’s boyfriend, a large bordercolly, followed us on our route. They have lots of fun, almost as much as Con and me. In the villages close other uneducated, stray dogs joined them. Along the way they play with hunting dogs, they race a cat down. I took some pictures to illustrate my “animal abuse” .

We paused at a good point, on top of a mountain, viz. Chapelle de Soyarce. (photo). While Con and I had Constance’s coffee, Tosca makes friends with a dog. It’s weekend, so hunters are active again all over the place. Though in spite of using about ten hunting dogs and at least as many crossbred dogs, the hunters seemed to have caught nothing.
Once a miracle happened in the chapel. The chapel burned down completely, except for the sacred statue inside. Typically, these tricks with holy miracles have many variations of the same theme. But anyway it was a lovely picnic point (photos). Leon managed to shift his whole saddle with four backpacks over his head and front legs. Hope nothing is broken, for instance of the film equipment. But we were lucky. I was too stunned to take a picture.
Kilometers further on we arrive at the “rock of Gibraltar”, where 3 Santiago routes come together. Gibraltar is a Basque word which means “encounter” (photo). Here Tosca and her friend who accompanied her all morning, made still more new friends (picture). I show this to the critics to show that my dealings with the two animal companions are much more pleasant than my critics predicted , that Tosca has quite a lot of fun and excitement.

Finally we arrive at the reserved location on the outskirts of the tiny village of Guinarthe. From a distance the landlady welcomes us with: no, I can not, no, not here. I did not know you had animals. Well, we knew this might happen. So, in advance, upon reservation, no mention about our animal friends. The end of the song is, that we now , showered and dressed with clean clothes (the rest is in the washing machine) enjoy dinner together with the family. The animals have a place. The dog that accompanied us 20 km. is picked up by its owner after he had been called by our landlady. So happy finish, all right. Now waiting for a call from the filmmakers, who will arrive in this area tonight, in order to shoot movies tomorrow. And then I’m already slightly worried about Christmas. Con proposes to play Joseph and Mary. Faking pregnant Mary with a pillow under her sweater. She even thought for a moment about a soup kitchen of the Salvation Army. The landlady suggests that we stand in front of the church door during the midnight mass. Who will help us? As a last resort I can also set up the tent for Crismas eve, although it is predicted to rain on Thursday. You think this is fun? I do not think so, but for sure this trip is special and we will never forget! It stays a bit exciting. Cool, isn’t it?

the chapel of the miracle chapel miracle

Vóór de kapel bevrijdt Leon zich van zijn pakzadel Here Tosca throws off her packs

Tosca makes boyfriends Tosca makes friends 

] A crossroads of pilgrim routes A crossroads of pilgrim routes


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