I found out that Oloron is a crosstown of two main pilgrimage routes of ancient times, la rue du Piemont (GR78) and la route Arlesienne which goes south and crosses the Pyrenees to Spain at le Col du Somport. The GR78, that I have been trying to follow since yesterday, goes instead parallel to the mountains and goes further west to St.Jean.
During my hectic trip planning I totally missed out the GR78 itinerary which is not charted on Google maps. My itinerary for today was supposed to take me on a SW direction towards Montory. I finally got a GR78 map and I learned should have walked NW instead towards L’Hopital St. Blaise. This is going to be a real pilgrim’s hostel and the place as seen on the Internet is a promise of spirituality and inner peace.
To conclude my recounting of Oloron, the hotel I stayed in (Hotel de la Paix) is not worth both the name (plenty of traffic all night long) nor the hospitality offered in a quite rude and kindly manner.
Throughout the day several other blessings need to be noted:
– a few angels disguised as a couple of peasants walking along the road, an old woman at a window in an unnamed village, a pretty young lady in a bicycle, that stopped to greet me while I was having breakfast barefoot against the walls of the church in Buzy. All popped in at the right time to redirect my lost steps on the correct direction,
– the realization that in a pilgrimage you need to think like one of these ancient travellers. The path goes fr church to church, and often passes nearby the cemetery,
– as I developed serious pain in the feet, I thanked my Superior Power for having suggested me to pack also a pair of snickers. With sudden relief the change of shoes proved to be the most significant blessing of all.
Hope I will find again a wee-fee connection tonight for continuing the postings.