|Bikes being loaded onto the plane|
We cycled out of the airport and were surprised by cycle lanes pretty much all the way into Bordeaux. We had targeted the train station (Gare de St Jean) as our destination as we knew there was a tourist information office there. After grabbing a quick bite we went to the tourist office as we had read online that we might be able to buy our pilgrim's credencial (needed to sleep in all the albergues, or pilgrim's refuges, on the route) there. This did not prove to be accurate, but the woman at the office did confirm the existence of the Priory du Cayac in Gradignan which we had also read about online. That was reassuring as we hadn't been able to see anything looking like a pilgrim's hostel on google street view! She said we'd be able to get our credencial there but that no one would be in before 3:30. As it was only abut 1:00 we headed into the old town of Bordeaux to do a bit of sightseeing under rainy skies.
We entered historic Bordeaux through the gate of St Jacques (aka St James aka Santiago) and saw our first signs about the Camino. After snacking on some macaroons we decided to head south to Gradignan, about 10km away, as the rain began to pick up. We never quite relaxed while in Bordeaux, I think we were kind of on edge until we found the albergue and confirmed we could sleep there.
|St Jacques Gate|
|Information about the Camino in Bordeaux|
|The Priory du Cayac at Gradignan|
|Statue of St James outside the priory|
We shared the refuge with a french couple, Gerard and Maripol, who really only know a few works of English. We managed to get by with hand gestures and a few words of French and English. It helps when there are really only so many things you could be asking about! They were from a small town between Paris and Bordeaux and had already been walking for two weeks when we met them. They had planned for the whole journey to take about 2 months. We each cooked separate meals of pasta, and later they did our dishes as well as their own! I tried to get up from writing in the journal to do some of the cleaning but the woman told me to keep writing. I had seen earlier that she takes her journalling very seriously, so I guess that's why she felt so strongly about it for me.
We headed to bed at about 9pm, tired from our airport adventure the night before and looking forward to what the rest of the trip had in store for us.
The stats for the day:
Odometer: 28.97 km
Moving average: 14.7 kph
Overall average: 10.6 kph
Time on bike: 1h58m
Max speed: 36.4 kph