St Jean Pied de Port to Orrison – Little Snippets

Exhausted. Made it to Orrison. I’m pretty sure the Universe made that climb longer and steeper. And I am not alone. Even those who have walked before said it seemed harder this time.

It’s good to know that I am not the only person who lost every bit of muscle in their body during the past 18 months. It’s my lungs that need practice again on how to breathe up a mountain.

I was up at 5am. Only slept three hours last night. Sure, it was hot. But nerves got the better of me. I will have to force myself to stay awake for the Pilgrim meal tonight. Including the adult summer camp of introductions and singing.

The walk out of St. Jean in the dark was surprisingly crowded. The early walkers were Europeans. The sunrise was not to be missed.

By the time I stopped at Honto for water and to take my pills, the sun had come up and the hoards of Americans were not far behind.

I made it to Orisson by 10:30. Covid certificate required for everyone, so you feel doubly safe. The refugió is filled, but they are as nice as ever here. I had to excuse myself from chatting on the terrace. Barely able to keep my eyes open, I needed a shower, and there was laundry to do. I know that getting it on the line early is key to avoid having underwear pinned to my pack in the morning. Hoping it will dry on the walk.

My legs are shaky. Everything hurts. But I made it. Day 1 is done. I’m a little teary after the past 18 months. Even two weeks ago laying in a bed at the HULA in Lugo I wondered if I could do it. Once I get to Roncesvalles I will know that I got this. One more very hot day to tackle the Pyrenees. 4:30 am will come very early.

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