Biarritz, France. I had hardly landed when a group of touring cyclists needed a more burly pedal tool. In a dress and ballet flats, they didn’t suspect it would be me coming to the rescue! But a girl’s gotta have her tools and Marc – local owner of Centraal Cycle in Beverly, MA – made sure I was equipped with the very best. Happens I needed 1€ for the bus, so it was a happy exchange. I even got some footage of them and they were kind enough to sign my iPhone-based Talent Release forms.
The cyclists thought I was crazy when they heard I’d be taking the Napoleon Route. “Almost killed a friend of ours,” they recounted. “We’ve heard folks from Boston are crazy.” And adding, “But I’m sure you’ll be fine.” Ha! That’s the 3rd “people die on that mountain” warning I’ve received this week, not to mention the movie that starts out with a young man falling off it in the fog.
I’m in Basque country, back to my roots (I’m 1/8 Basque and my family was from this French Basque region). Perhaps my ancestors will protect me alongside the luck of a St. Christopher pendant a dear friend gave me before I left. He’s supposed to protect travelers.
In any case, I’m glad I decided to ease into the mountain with a night here. This place is calming my nerves. It soothes me. “Stay open” is the decree my heart delivers to me over and over, through it all. Thank you, Biarritz for a lovely send off.