My camino friends are calling me “Scoutmaster” because I am so well prepared for this journey and I keep whipping solutions out of my backpack – safety pins, stuff bags, blister treatment, spare gloves, etc. Mom would be proud!
My companions had shipped (in my pack liners) 100 kg or so of face creams and other essentials of life, to the destination, so I added my sleeping bag to their collections.
We left Orisson at 8:30 a.m. on a gorgeous morning, for an 18 km walk up 1200 m and down 800 m.
For about 10 km I was thinking “This is a piece of cake. Next time I really should go all the way from St. Jean to Roncesvalles in one day!” The air was chilly but the sun was shining; there was ice on some puddles, but it was a good day for walking.
Look at the cinco amigos’ sillouettes on the opposite side of the valley!
The path went on and on, up and up, until it started down and down on a leaf covered path. Let’s just say that everyone was happy to reach Roncesvalles, and I decided that the 2-day trip over the pass was a good decision.
Roncesvalles consists of a pilgrim albergue, 2 restaurants, a church, and a population of 25. In our group, those who were unable to move further stayed in the private accommodation at La Posada, while the ambulatory among us moved on to the dormitories of the albergue. I love that albergue, but didn’t think to take photos to show why. Sure it has probably lost some of the “charm” of the previous medieval facility, but the Dutch volunteers run an efficient and comfortable ship. I think it is fabulous.
I joined a 1-hour tour of the monastery, church and museum; had dinner at La Posada; attended the pilgrim’s mass; said hello to Margaret, who had arrived from the valley route; and afterwards was greeted by Daniela, who I had met last year on the Camino!
I was tucked into my bottom bunk before lights-out at 10 pm.