Day 1 St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles

My first steps on the Camino-Frances were at 7 o’clock this morning. It was still dark and I had to wear my head torch for the first time too. I cried as I walked along the first kilometre with mixed emotions swirling around like they were in a blender.

All I can say is that the first 8 kilometres were gruelling, it was so steep if I lent forward too much my nose would have touched the path. Seriously it was that steep! 

However it was like walking in heaven with the brilliant moon to my right and the lovely sunrise beginning to wake up behind my left shoulder. As the sunrise began to permeate and light my path when I looked back I could see how far I had come, and let me tell you no picture will ever do it justice. 

A word of caution to any Camino pilgrim, eat a proper breakfast before you set off. Because it was so early I was not particularly feeling like eating and a croissant later with a couple slices of banana cake in my backpack was not enough! FFS, you would think I’d know better! I have never been so delighted to see the little resting place at Hutton, only open on a Sunday. They say the Camino provides.

A coffee, banana, banana bread, nuts, water and some electrolytes I felt so much better and had my stride back in swing. I felt like I was on top of the world at Orisson! No! The mountain just kept going up and up and at each stage I looked back was more picturesque and spectacular, truly majestic. 1400 meters above sea level! 

On the way walking, chatting and laughing with fellow pilgrims was a joy and a delight, and I’m already looking forward to meeting them again further down the Camino. 

Roncesvalles is an old monastery which has been converted into to halves. One side as an albergue where the hospitalairs are friendly welcoming and super helpful. The other half is a very swanky hotel restaurant and bar very posh I bet it’s not 36€ for dinner bed and breakfast. 🤣

I’ve had a shower, put my legs up the wall with my toe dividers, been to the pilgrim mass and had dinner with more new pilgrims from Canada, Germany and France.

I’m off to bed now tomorrow’s walk is not as challenging to Zubiri but just as long.

Buen Camino



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