Miramont Sensacq – Uzan

Leaving Miramont Sensacq early in the morning

Leaving Miramont Sensacq early in the morning

The duck wanted a better view

The duck wanted a better view

I started at 6am after a good sleep. The routine of early to bed and early to rise was becoming easier. The last four weeks of walking had been exhausting at times, and it was necessary to preserve energy with good quality sleep.

The early morning mist was starting to rise as the early rays of the sun broke through. Soon I came across a farmer feeding his cows, and had a brief chat. There were ducks everywhere, including one perched on a tall pole to take in the morning view. Not far from the farm was the Church of Sensacq glowing in the early morning light. The 11th century church was originally dedicated to Saint James. A pretty church it had an enclosed porch where I rested for a few minutes. Unfortunately the church was closed and I could not sample its interior.

The church of Sensacq formerly dedicated to Saint Jacques

The church of Sensacq formerly dedicated to Saint Jacques

Continuing along the winding lanes and small roads to the village of Pimbo, all seemed well with the world. It was pleasant walking and I could not think of a better way to start a day that walking through such wonderful countryside.

Detail of church door in Pimbo

Detail of church door in Pimbo

Pimbo dates from 1268 and is one of the oldest Bastide villages in the Landes region. There was a trolley provided by the locals where pilgrims could help themselves to tea and coffee. As I rested, a lady arrived with her donkey. She was soon to complete her pilgrimage in Maslacq. She continued on covering 12 to 15 km per day.

On the other side of the village I could finally see the Pyrénées Mountains faintly in the distance. They rose spectacularly from the land ahead and were still snow covered in places. It was a spectacular site and gave me a huge amount of inspiration to continue. I reflected too on how much I had achieved in the last four weeks. Spurred on, the Way descended steeply down into rolling verdant country. The foothills of the Pyrénées were starting and I was getting closer all the time.

A pilgrim and her donkey have a rest

A pilgrim and her donkey have a rest

Soon after I stopped and bought fresh bread and cheese in Arzacq Arraziguet . This town had two wide pleasant squares and as I arrived the market was just beginning to pack up for the day. I sat in the square having lunch and watching the activity. Continuing on I noted that the Way was leaving Landes and entering the old kingdom of Béarn. I was now in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département of the Aquitaine region.

It was getting hotter. I stopped for a customary rest under a large shady tree in Louvigny. I heated some coffee and later fell asleep on the camping mat. A long gentle doze followed. I planned to stop at Fichous Riumayou but on arriving there I could not find the chambre d’hotes. There was a sign that said it was a one hour walk to Uzan. I continued even though I was becoming exhausted. I soon realised that it had been a mistake. After an hour, I should have arrived in Uzan and happened across another notice saying that it was still thirty minutes to my destination. I arrived in Uzan an hour later totally worn out. The distance signs in this part of the world could not be relied upon.

Sign outside ivy covered gite

Sign outside ivy covered gite

There was a small gite. The walkers already there advised that the owner lived across the road and that I should go and check in with them. I was shown the room and said that eggs and salad were for sale if I wanted any food. There was a distance between us on first impression possibly because I looked so worn out. I returned to the host’s house after showering. I was sitting in a large kitchen table when her husband walked in and offered me a pastis. We sat and talked, and some local wine appeared. After an hour we agreed on €2 for some more wine, 2 eggs and a huge amount of lettuce from the garden. I cooked dinner and stayed in the garden of the gite listening and watching the sky grow darker with distant thunder. Everyone was in bed. The wind blew stronger and I felt calm.

Local hospitality for pilgrims offering free tea and coffee

Local hospitality for pilgrims offering free tea and coffee

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