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Getting by with English in Basque Country? Driving in France?

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For those of you who have been to the Basque Country, please help me with this. I am planning a 3-4 trip to Basque Country in late August, planning to stay in Ainhoa at Hotel Argi Eder (Hotel Ithurria sounds wonderful from comments here but is booked up). I will have a rental car to explore the region. I don't speak a word of French (other than good morning, please, thank you) so do the proprieters at the hotels and others speak English to help me get by? Also, I have never rented car and driven in France, are there any issues or concerns? I plan to pick up and return the car at Bordeaux railway station after trip down from Paris. Thanks for your help.

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