It’s been quiet a journey since I left. After landing in Paris and catching 4 trains I finally found myself 25 hours later in St Jean Pied-De-Port, where my journey was to begin. Not having slept on the plane with crying babies and a rather large man taking over half my seat, I checked into the first Albergue and passed out without a second thought about the snoring or the other 11 people I was sharing a room with. I woke up at 5.30am raring to go even though I had given myself an extra day to rest I decided to head on out and test the waters. I started off in a tiny church on my knees giving thanks for all my blessings and this wonderful adventure I am about to embark on.
I had been told that the first stretch was the hardest part of the Camino, but I don’t think you get the true meaning of that until you are in it. It’s a little like giving birth, very exciting and wow until you are half way through and you realize how painful and hard it is but there ain’t no going back, you have to get through it one way or another. So, in a nutshell it is about 24km of uphill and about 4km of very steep downhill to get to Roncesvalles.
I have discovered that my mind is a lot stronger than my body and I’m not too sure yet whether that is a good thing, will find out in the morning when I have to get up. The Pyrenees mountains are absolutely awesome and it really was worth the long and strenuous walk where for stretches the only sound I heard was the ting, ting, ting of the sheep’s bells. Yes, here the sheep have bells around their necks!
Soup and Baguettes have been the order of the day, of which I am going to have my fair share of I’m sure. I am humbled, slightly broken, in awe, still alive and enjoying every moment.