Journeys through an ovine wasteland

Sunday, April 11, 2010


7:06 am: Early morning in the pastoral fringes of Itxassou village. Have been awake since pre-dawn. I find myself red-eyed and without shelter, in an open valley amid the solemn and unwavering company of white-legged Plins.

I am thankful to a kind Basque innkeeper, who - in forbidding Estérençuby - procured for me the supplies required to fashion a makeshift raft some two nights past. From the three head rivers of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, among weary pilgrims set for Galicia, I have found myself pulled in the opposite direction along the ambling vein of the River Nive. Had I adequate rations, I might let this tributary carry me over and beyond; away to the great Adour, and eventually: the blind, open sea.

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