Day 2 of our long walk to Santiago – we are now in Roncesvalles, just across the French/Spanish border. We have walked across the Pyrenees! This stage of the Camino had caused me some angst. I knew it was difficult, both because of the distance, and also the height. I really wasn’t looking forward to it,and had a few doubts about being able to do it, and now it’s behind me. Yay! Bring on the next challenge.
We climbed to nearly 1500 metres today, more than double the highest point in Adelaide. Spectacular views, but very hard on the lungs going up, and on the knees going down. We stayed at Orisson last night – just 8km from our starting point at St Jean Pied de Port, but for a first day, that was far enough. By the end of yesterday we had done 1% of our 800km journey. Never has the saying ‘The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step’ held so much meaning.
We meet other pilgrims as we walk and greet each other with ‘Buen Camino’ – good journey. Most pilgrims we have met so far are German or French, with a few Austrians, Swiss and other European nationalities among them. A couple more Australians, several Americans and one New Zealander. It’s nice to hear a familiar Australian accent every now and then.
Last night we stayed at a small Refugio at Orisson, in a room with 2 German women and our own bathroon. Tonight we’re in a huge Refugio with maybe 100 beds in one dormitory. We feel lucky because we got 2 lower bunk beds next to each other. There’s a long queue for showers. Welcome to the pilgrim life.