The weather reports were saying rain for the next few days and it was so cold and windy on day 8, so we started out on day 9 wearing flu rain gear and extra layers. The day turned out to be a pleasant day and the walk was relatively shorter. We reached Navarrenx in early afternoon and had just enough time to have a beer and cafe au lait before a group lunch at our hotel (the only place open in town, since it was Sunday).
Navarrenx was the first town in France to be fortified with Italian style ramparts. The church of Saint Germaine was built in the 1500s and was soon converted to a Protestant temple. Later, in the 17th century it became a Catholic Church again. In former times Navarrenx had a significant population of Cagots ( an outcast population). Many of them became important public figures in the town.
Since we had time in the afternoon we took a drive to the Elgise de l'Hopital Saint Blaise. It is a 12th century Romanesque church that has now become a UNESCO world heritage site.
Today, day 10, turned out to be another beautiful day. Before leaving Navarrenx we walked a little on the town walls/ramparts. We covered 24 km today the country roads and paths. Saw cows, sheep, ducks, polombiere (pigeon blinds where hunters hide and wait to catch pigeons). Here and there we continue to hear cuckoos, reminding us of our dear friend, Claire, who walked with us on part 1 from Le Puy to Figeac.
Met 4 pilgrims from Germany who walk some of the Camino each year, starting from Heidelberg a few years ago. This year they will walk up to Burgos.
Staying tonight in a farmhouse run by a French/Basque family.
Hard to believe that we have only three more days of walking - 69 km to go. Day after tomorrow we will reach Saint Jean Pied de Port, then begin our Pyrenees climb.