Monday, May 5, 2014

Over the Pyrenees, atlast! May 5

The day I was dreading is behind us now and we survived. More than that, we did the 25 K in about 8 hours, including stops. The weather and the scenery were stunning. But it was a slog. 1200 meters up hill. We did kind of a slow, steady walk and used our poles. And then a steep descent at the end of the day into Roncevalles. We were told not to take the shortcut through the woods so we dutifully followed the small paved road that snaked its way to the bottom. Joyce and Arlene took the shortcut and said we could easily have done it. 
St. Jean Pied de Port was shrouded in fog when we began but very soon we climbed into brilliant sunshine and left the fog behind for good. We were like race horses at the gate and could not wait to get going. All that  excitement and energy got us easily up any hill ahead of us.  We got above the tree line to face a stiff wind. My new Tilly hat blew off my head and rolled into a steep valley. I suggested we would just leave it but Jeff turned into a Billy goat and speedily ran down to retrieve it. All around us were these steep valleys and in the distance snow capped mountains. Here and there we saw a bit of snow still lying around. 
In the middle ages convicted felons could choose between a jail sentence or walking a pilgimage. There were moments when the jail cell seemed attractive!
We are having trouble posting pics so will try to fix this in Pamplona in a few days. 
Soon we are going to enjoy a pilgrim meal, which is a three course plus wine specially priced meal for perigrinos. Usually 10 Euros. Yes, we are in Spain now. 
Thank you all for your prayers and thinking about us. The first day is the hardest so now we're good, we hope. 
Oh yes, we did see a few Griffin vultures circling around in the distance. But not near enough to pounce on me if I fell!
I also got a terrific sunburn on the left side of my face and arm. Others, too. We were fooled by the cool wind and did not bother with sunscreen. Lesson learned!


  1. Great to hear that the first day went well! It had loomed large while you were still in Surrey.

  2. Congrats on finishing the first day! Already went through Mom and Dad's photos! I hope the beauty of the landscape distracted you from all the inclines!
    P.S. I'm not sure vultures circling over you is a good thing.... :) lol

  3. Griffin grab me a feather????

    love and light