Tuesday, October 13 – Day 34

My day started at 5 am, which explains why I’m so tired now (at 2 pm) and thinking about napping. Once my hair gets a bit drier I might think about lying down, but I think I’m going to be in a full room tonight so maybe I should stay up. I don’t want to have any trouble sleeping tonight.

It didn’t start at 5 on purpose, but I couldn’t get back to sleep after I woke up. I did manage to get packed up and downstairs on time, but I still think the whole thing is a bit ridiculous (having to be out at 7:30).

Breakfast was ok. I met the other couple staying there, Jean-Louis and Jacqueline. They started from Le Puy the week ahead of me and they’re going about 15k a day. I think they said they were coming to Orisson today, but they haven’t shown up yet.

I pushed breakfast as long as I could, and finished getting caught up on my blog. Then I walked up to the Pilgrim Boutique again to buy a book. I decided not to get the one everyone gets. It’s very expensive, and I found I just don’t read the guide books anyway. I bought the Rother Walking Guide. It might be German. I will spend some time this afternoon getting acquainted with the legend and how it works.

I stopped at a boulangerie and bought some bread and my last two French croissants. Apparently they have croissants in Spain, but not made with butter.

I started making my way slowly out of the city just before 9:30. Slowly, because I only had 8k to go and I didn’t want to get there too early.

Looking back, if today had been good weather I really think I should have done it all in one day. But, it’s not good weather, which is why I decided to stop at Orisson, because hopefully tomorrow will be clear and beautiful. Right now, looking out the window, it’s completely under a cloud. There is absolutely no visibility.

I like how the cobblestones in the street are in a fan pattern and they look like shells. I don’t know if that’s on purpose, or how old the streets are. It looks cool, though.

I’m going on the high route, which is called Route Napoleon. I looked for that big sign that says “Santiago 791 km”, but that must be on the low route. That was a bit of a disappointment.

It was a nice stroll up into the mountains. I ate my croissants and took lots of pictures of the mountains and clouds.

After 5k you get to Honto/Hunto, which is one of the last gîtes, it really starts to go up. I left the road and starting going up some rocky switchbacks.

I caught up with two women walking together. Mercedes, from Barcelona, and Denise from Texas. They are both on their first day of walking, and I was a little surprised at how often they had to stop to catch their breath (Mercedes more than Denise). Mercedes told us to go on without her, so I walked for a while with Denise. She has also been unhappy with her job and where she is in life, so she came to the Camino. It seems to be a very common theme. She is walking all the way to Roncevaux today. I hope the visibility is ok for her. Mercedes is staying with me at Orisson.

We got to Orisson right before noon, so it only took me 2 hours and 20 minutes, going very slowly. This is not how I’d planned things, so the weather really better pay off tomorrow! It is what it is.

Denise and I got some hot soup. She continued and I checked in.

I’m in a room with 3 bunk beds and currently 3 people. I think. We might have gotten 2 more. The other person is Ellen, or maybe Helen. She’s French and speaks entirely too quickly for me to understand much. I asked her to slow down, and she did, once.

I got one shower token, which is good for 5 minutes. At least the water was hot. It was one of those small cubicles that makes it difficult to dress in without getting everything wet.

The good news is I’m currently wearing both of my long sleeve shirts! It’s cold up here in the clouds. Not sending the second shirt home has already paid off.

I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to avoid a nap.

The clouds cleared for a bit and I saw a huge flock of birds coming. I had heard them calling before, but didn’t see them or know what they were. They’re cranes! Cranes migrating over the Pyrenees! I got some video, which might show up a bit better than pictures.

I avoided the nap, and we did end up with a full room. My earplugs will get a good test tonight!

Two of the new people in my room are Americans! It’s such a culture shock to be around Americans again. And there were 3 more Americans at dinner! We had an American corner of the table. It was very nice, and very odd. It really is amazing how different the camino is just from either side of St. Jean. I’d heard about it, but I really wasn’t prepared to experience it. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, it’s just weird.

Dinner was very good! We started out with that same soup I paid 5 E for a bowl of at lunch, except this time I had 3 bowls. The main course was macaroni and sausage in a tomato sauce, and they kept bringing more and more of it. I think I had 4 helpings, and it was delicious. I don’t always like tomato sauces, but this one was really good. Then dessert was our choice of two different ice cream flavors, and the ice cream was actually really good. It was the best ice cream I’ve had in France.

Ed and Suky, Tracy, then Angie and Adam. Ed is a Geologist and they’ve lived all over the world. Suky walked to Santiago with some friends, and now she and Ed are walking a bit at the beginning. Tracy is from California and is walking to Santiago. Angie and Adam are teachers living in Singapore, and they’re on vacation just walking for a few days. They’ve done the Camino before and were hoping for good weather over the Pyrenees.

The weather app says it’s going to be a sunny, cloudless day! Let’s see.



Add yours →

  1. I am interested, too, to hear about any differences you discover on your route through Spain.


  2. Mmmm, food! (I haven’t had lunch yet). Sweeping vistas are impressive, but misty landscapes are cool too. I hope your earplugs are good!


  3. You’re pretty far up there! Looks like some great views (when the clouds are cooperating).


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