Wednesday July 24th lunch at Esterençuby, Kaskoleta, Ithurramburu, Iraukotuturu, sleeping at Occabé
Mornings are tough for most people, yet I am blessed with more energy than one can pay for it seems.
Great weather and I am lucky to only search for some 45 minutes before setting off in the right direction. Passing the graveyard which I don’t visit this time, the day ahead will require a real effort. It is fair and easy walking up to Esterençuby; I cross the small bridge over what I think is the Esterenguibel, and the occasion for a good meal is offered by the very sympathetic ward at the “Auberge Carricaburu). It is midday and the sun is powering its rays in full rage; only one other couple is finishing their meal; there will be some passage during my recovery over my plate, but one doesn’t need to imagine heaven on earth: it is here. I visit the church’s graveyard before setting off after a most delicious specimen of the ‘Gateau Basque’ – I wanted to take it with me, but it was the juiciest cake I had in a long time, and since I am not a real hedonist, the occasion was offered to take some lessons in practicing that lifestyle. Was I to know what lay ahead of me!
It is gorgeous walking with breathtaking scenery when starting to walk through more pastries, and ascending Kaskoleta, croupe d’Ithurramburu, and col d’Irau. I can start seeing what I will learn is the Iraukotuturru ; here a word on the Basque language, which is the most lyric and musical language I heard so far! The waitress at Bidarray had given me some instructions as towards the rhymes taught to children; it is a very pedagogic language, which repeats often in the same word, with different words, the sense of it. And you will find “ko”, a diminutive for the mountain, in many names: Irau – ko – tuturru. Yes you’ll tell me now that tu and tu are identical. Indeed, but the mountain has two tops! and a shepherd told me, (but is it really so?), that it is because of the two peaks. It only makes my interest for the language increase.
After having reached the pass ‘Col d’Irau’ and spoken with Bernard, a most educated and wise shepherd, who tells me they are already into the second harvest now and since a few years they have to buy hay to get their animals through the very dry and hot summers – we discuss speculation on the markets, and I will come back I promise myself, but how? When?..I feel a sadness coming over me after having said goodbye. (WHO remembers the news a little month ago of the bankruptcy of the City of Chicago ?) Again despair seizes me and I keep on walking. Another shepherd appears from behind a rock, like a Pan meeting his muses I think to myself. Jeepers, the men here are really stunning in their appearance, even at a certain age! I think he must be in his seventies and won’t be far off. The sun is really setting now, and I realize I’ll sleep among the Chromlechs that I want to attain, before putting up my tent. Children play amongst the rocks, witnesses of times past and present . I think I will have a good night sleep.