The Camino Frances
Thursday, April 24, 2014
In Spain, and on the Camino
By the time we napped there wasnt much time left, so we got a picnic and wandered Square George Brassens. It had pony rides, a carousel, a rock climbing area, a herb garden, a wading pool and beach, a waterfall, and a flea market for books on Sunday, and all in about an acre.
Travelling to St Jean pied de Port on tuesday the 22nd
We had a great trip on the train through the french contryside.. Though we could only get an unreserved seat, we got fine ones. We wandered Bayonne for 2 hours, then a bus to St Jean and our albergue. We got info from the Pilgrims office, then dinnner. He kindly made me an omelet, as the meat was veal. No eating animals for me! Of course, when lights were out, the chorus began: snorers!
Up to Orrison´on Wed the 23rd
We had a lovely day for a very steep climb to Orrison. Slow and steady, with lots of breaks for water. The farms were beautiful, perched on steep slopes, and we saw lots of sheep and a few ponies. We arrived at 11 am, after a 3 hour climb, with no injuries.I did a lot of puffing on the way up. After a shower, laundry, and a brief nap we had lots of time to get to know the other 34 pilgrims staying there, while watching those hardy souls pushing past, all the way to Roncesvalles. I finished a book, wrote in my journal, and just vegetated. Dinner was at 6:30. and everyone introduced themselves. Dinner was vegetable soup, roast pork, white beans in a tomato sauce and basque cake (I got fruit salad). Lights were out in our room by 9 pm.
Up and over to Roncesvalles on thursday
We left 7:50, and it was a gruelling day. We encountered every kind of weather. First the sun shone, then clouds formed, drifting across the paths. We saw banks of snow, still unmelted. Then it became black, and it sprinkled. Then more sun, but as we descended to Roncesvalles, the clouds opened, and both Wendy and I fell,on the muddy path as we took the steep route down, but no injuries and the laundry is done and drying.
We saw many sheep, horse and cattle, wandering, as most of the pasture is unfenced.
The terrain is as varied as the weather; paved paths, stones, gravel, mud, rocks with a river running through, and mulch as we walked through the forests. The path was as steep as yesterday in places, and the descent was about 45¨´ the whole time. We climbed to 1440 m, so were above the clouds most of the time. The valleys were filled with mist
Monks have welcomed pilgrims here at the monastery since the early 12th century. Since I was here in 2007, they have updated the albergue, and there are cubicles with 2 bunks in each, and they expect 300 pilgrims today. They will do your laundry for 3 euros. I will go to dinner at 7 and mass at 8. I missed both last time, as I arrived at 8 pm then.
So we had a challenging and rewarding day today, and after a great sleep tonight, we will be ready for another great day tomorrow.
Buen Camino! ( the monastery in Roncesvalles)
Labels: climbing, Orrison, Roncesvalles, weather
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Sounds like a very challenging climb! The scenery sounds and looks magical! The monastery i Roncesvalles looks magnificent. Hope the worst weather is behind you both now and the snow has melted from here on. These few days are a real climb. (Our hike down the Don Valley in the teaming rain is nothing in comparison.) Is this the highest altitude part of the trek or how far along is the highest point?ReplyDelete
There are quite a few points where the altitude is about 1000 m, and there are 2 more high points to climb - stay tuned!Delete
So wonderfully descriptive Darlene. I feel I am walking with you ( without the huffing and puffing of course). Sounds like you are having a fabulous time. Downhill to Zubari now. Sleep tight you two.ReplyDelete
Hi you two, when in Pamplona, find out when the choir will sing in the Cathedral, the 17th cent. Italian monk Laffi loved the choir singing in the church. Sleuthing tip: St. James is carved in the choir 15th from the right. If you have time visit the Museo Diocesano or the Museo de Navarra. I spent a couple of days there last time and loved the museums. It doesn't have to be all mud sliding on the keester, though that is fun too.ReplyDelete
We need you here to be our tour guide - it is hard to get out and see the sights. We may see some later today, but love your suggestions!Delete
Oh my! This is wonderful! I am so happy to be reading this, and love the imagery your writing creates in my mind. I love that pic of the monastery! Romantic! You were walking above the clouds! So amazing! I am so happy that you and Wendy are having a Buen Camino. And you both fell in the mud! Great! and now you are all cleaned up! What adventure! This is amazing. Thanks for keeping your blog going so that we can all follow along. Can't wait for your next entry. Tell us about your state of mind, your inevitable realizations, what you are learning, and the feelings of your heart.ReplyDelete
Your requests are noted. I´m not sure I am having too many realizations yet, but my conclusion so far is that I am not getting any younger, but I still have the right stuff!Delete
This sounds amazing! Definitely makes me want to be there.ReplyDelete
It is great to read your stories .. looking forward to your next posting! Abe & DidiReplyDelete
Saludos Darlene and Wendy,ReplyDelete
Happy to follow along from here. Already, you have had all kinds of weather, all kinds of weather. Keep the reports coming. Off to join the Friday walk in an hour. You will, no doubt, be the topic of conversation.
xxx Buen Camino, Ann PS to Wendy - great birthday yesterday for Wayson. You were missed.
We miss you already here. We had a birthday dinner for Lola and you were missed. The Douglas ladies had already read your post about slipping in the mud, and shared with the table. Looking forward to keeping tabs on you through your blog, and living vicariously through you. You are amazing.ReplyDelete
Love you, Meg
Thanks to the McKee Kempf Douglas households for following. Sometimes I amaze myself!Delete