Charles de Gaulle airport might be big, but thankfully, I found it pretty easy to make my way around. After collecting my one checked bag with my walking poles (I had carried my backpack on the plane, not wanting to take a chance of losing it en route), I was quickly able to find the bus that would take me to Orly airport for my flight to Biarritz.
A couple of hours later and I landed in Southern France and into the very welcoming arms of Emmanuel’s parents Agnes and Philippe. Emmanuel (a friend of Alan’s who we all call Menou) had insisted that I stay with his family on my way to the start of the Camino. They are lovely people, and I can see Menou in both of them.
They brought me back to their home where they kindly suggested I have a nap (I really hadn’t slept properly in two days). Once I awoke they fed me a delicious meal of squash soup, a main dish made with Spanish ham and tomatoes from their garden, rice, cheeses, bread, and fruit salad. There was a Bordeaux for the main meal and a dessert wine for the fruit. Wonderful! Then they packed me into the car for a tour of Biarritz.
They have limited English and my French is certainly nothing to write home about, but somehow we managed to communicate. It was certainly good preparation for the Camino, where I was to discover that sign language and facial expressions can go a long way in dealing with any language barrier.