Before I write about today, I want to say a huge thank you for support. Loved ones, close ones, acquaintances and even strangers, your good luck wishes have been absorbed. It was so unexpected - thank you! I’ll use your kind words for strength and patience on this journey.
Today is one of those days. Almost missed my flight in Riga, because I was at the wrong gate (didn’t notice when they changed it to a different one), made a splash with my coca-cola, somehow managed to throw my earplug in the air in the plane and didn’t know how to turn on the water fountain in the Paris airport. It is all from the sleepless night I had.. I’m trying to get my shit together!
First flight of the day. The clouds are playing games and so am I.
My flight from Riga with the new CS300 was supercomfortable. I had the window seat and I had no one sitting next to me, so naturally I used all the space with my favorite sleeping positions and passed out right away (makes sense since I only slept 2 hours that night). Of course, I got out of the plane looking and feeling just like a napkin that has been left in the jean shorts during washing.
4 hour layover in the Paris airport. I’ve always loved it here since there is always someone playing the piano live. I could play too, but the only thing I know how to play is a Latvian lullaby. Not gonna happen!
The troubles continues - the second flight of the day has been postponed for an hour. The first day already is showing me that this isn’t gonna be easy, but it’s not stopping me. I have the free wifi, water, tons of food my mom packed for me and I’m just sitting and restoring my energy.
I even had the chance to speak French in the airport. A little boy said ‘Bonjour’ and I said it back to him. That’s all we needed for both of us to exchange smiles.
‘Easyjet’ pilot landed the flight with a bang (not literally of course). Someone screamed, someones phone traveled from the back of the plane to my seat sliding on the floor. This was the first time ever not experiencing applause at the end of both of the flights.
When I landed in Biarritz, I quickly learned that no one speaks English here. Okay, they did know how to tell me the name of the city and the numbers of the buses. While waiting for the bus to Bayonnes, I noticed a group of young people dressed all white with red accessories. At first I thought they were students, but then I quickly realized it’s Saturday. The closer we got to city center, the more people dressed like that got on the bus. Later there were so many the bus didn’t even stop to get more passengers. I continue my bus ride without being sure I’m going in the right direction. When I got to the city center, I saw that everyone was dressed in white and red. Now I had to make my way through the masses of people to the other side of the river to get to the train station. There I finally met someone who speaks English. Turns out that it was Les Fetes De Bayonnes Festival and the city was expecting up to a million visitors.
Rollercoasters, stages, street artists, balloons, cafes.. the city is alive! DJ playing a set in the second floor window.
I was happy I had to wait for the train for two hours, because I got the chance to enjoy their celebration for a bit. The whole city was shining!
When I got in the train I could finally relax, because I knew that it wouldn’t take me further than the stop I have to get off. Finally I see more people with huge backpacks. I don’t like sweets but the granola bar I had on the train hit the right spot. I had earned it!
A total of 16 hours spent on the road. I made it to the Pilgrim’s Reception Office and got my pilgrims passport. And my first stamp! Every ‘first’ is special.
Of course the hostel that I got transferred to was full capacity, but with the help of the lovely owner Pantxo, we did find a spot for me.
Everything seems so real now. I’m finally feeling nervous.
Tomorrow I'll begin my journey.
The heat here is bonkers!
Mom, dad, hi!
- Bus Biarritz airport to Bayonnes center - 1 EUR (lenght of the trip - 30 minutes)
- Train Bayoones to St Jean Pied de Port - 10.10 EUR (lenght of the trip - 1 hour)
- 1 liter of water at the souvenir shop in the station - 2.90 EUR
- Pilgrims passport - 2 EUR
- A big shell (pilgrims symbol) exchanged for donations (I left 3 EUR)
- Hostel (breakfast included) - 20 EUR