/ˈzēˌrō/
(noun)
  1. No quantity or number; naught; the figure 0.
  2. A day in which no miles are hiked.

Hendaye

written Aug 4, 2019 @ 07:06 PM after hiking 12.00 miles

After a miserable night in a stuffy room that very quickly smelled like hikers (only saved when we asked and borrowed a fan), it was time to get some breakfast and hit the road.

But first, a hike across town to the train station!

Thrilling!

It involved lots of quintessential French streets so that was really pretty, of course.

<3

We then for to the train station about 10:15 and asked about taking an earlier train, since ours wasn't until 12:50. She told us that wasn't possible (there wasn't an earlier train) so we killed some time in a park and then headed for lunch before the train. I took one last opportunity to eat some veggies.

Greens!

After that, it was time to hurry up and wait in the train station.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock

Right in schedule, the train arrived and we began our three hour ride to Hendaye, the start of the trail.

Woosh!

Once there, we walked the two miles to the beach and began with the ceremonial dip in the Atlantic ocean. Well okay, we just got our feet wet because salt water chafe on day one is a terrible way to start a 500+ mile hike, but whatcha gonna do.

So fresh and so clean!

After that we began the hike .. which starts as a big walk through town. The first day largely follows the GR10 trail, which is marked by a pair of red and white stripes.

This little Polish flag will be our guide today

The route involved a fair amount of road walking (boo), some forest trails (yay), and some nontrivial climbs (boo/yay).

Crash hiking through the woods

These climbs were rewarding but brutal. We were hiking up into the clouds so the humidity was 100% and the temperature was .. I dunno what, but Google can tell you. It was hot.

From here you can see the beach where we started

We kept on hiking, over passes and through valleys, until Crash's jetlag said we were done. We were both pretty happy about that though since we have a lot of big days ahead and we don't want to burn out too early.

We found a reasonably flat spot on the trail itself (kind of a no-no but hey) and set up camp. Because of the clouds overhead, we set up our tents, just in case.

And so the first day ends, with birds singing, cowbells .. belling?, and a couple of legs that are happily sore.

A good day.

Camp!