Condom to Pamplona - Day 8
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Uzan to Argagnon - 18Km

 Another beautiful day  and only 18Km to go, which is a good balance to the 29Km of the day before. I spent the morning pleasantly strolling to Arthez - de- Bearn a small town with my first real view of the Pyrenees. I thought (wrongly) I couldn't get any food in the Gite that night, so I treated myself to 'The Lunch' , picking a restaurant where all the white vans were parked. After four courses and a few glasses of wine the world looked a better place.

The problem normally is after such a meal you are totally slaughtered for any more walking... but I only had 5K's to go.... which was along the French equivalent of the South Downs Way.... rolling countryside on both sides of a ridge. It was grand lad!

I arrived at my gite run by Isabelle and Nicolas, who had not only built this beautiful house for their family, had built it in such a way as it was instantly mature. The whole place and family had a good feel to it, of  people being at harmony with their surroundings and culture. I have had the same feeling at Conques Abbey, at Jean- Michel's gite & the gite at St Jean where Huberta and Arno lived.

It gave me cause for reflection on my return. I reflected that probably the monks of Conques, Isabelle + Nicolas, Jean- Michel and Huberta + Arno had all worked out what was important in life and had clear visions of how they are going to fulfil their ideas.

My  credentials 'stamp' was hand drawn by Isabelle, I suspect it would have been very easy to go and buy a rubber stamp, but this was a very simple but personal gift from them to their visitors. The stamp also is a link to their lives, Nicolas plays the banjo and the stripes represent the Basque design cloth which Isabelle designs.

After the usual exercise of washing me and my laundry I sat out in the sun reading and watching the cat play with half dead lizards.