Imagine, if you will, the mighty Europe pitching up at your local bar to run through a selection of their finest works of rock 'n' roll. I know, as fantasies go it doesn't get any better than this so you nudge yourself, very politely, to the front of the crowd to place yourself within a plectrum's-toss of the god-like Joey Tempest.
You know every song: word-by-word, note-by-note, and you know that from the off Sweden's finest contribution to bubble-haired poodle-rock will carefully and cleverly up the tempo to finish the two-hour show (yes, I know, they could go on for much, much longer) with the national anthem of the 1980s, The Final Countdown.
So you're standing there, all agog, when a familiar riff kicks in. Surely ... it can't be? But it is. Joey takes to the stages, locks flickering in the spotlights and utters those immortal words: We're heading for Venus/but still we stand tall ...
Tell me about it! I'm still having nightmares even though I know it'll never, ever happen. But if it did, it would resemble closely the repertoire of the Camino Frances from its starting point in St Jean, including the encore to Finisterre. The first stage, up and over the Pyrenees is The Final Countdown of European pilgrimage; I doubt whether it can be bettered.
Offerings left in a small hollow beneath the Virgin of Biakorri
Feels like heaven ...
'You're just too good to be true/I can't take my eyes off you/You'd be like heaven to touch/I wanna hold you so much'
Roncevalles, the end of the stage for most pilgrims who stay at the abbey's modern albergue. Your correspondent, however, continued further 3km to Burguete