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St Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles

St Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles

I am so unused to having my own space that I caught a bit of a cold last night in my cold room in the old stone boarding house. The extra body heat of more people in a room is good for more than company.

I won’t let that delay the start of the second half of my walk, though. After looking at the weather forecast with rain coming late today I decided to keep walking past Orisson and get over the Pyrenees to the Spanish town of Roncesvalles. It turned out to be both a spectacular and very meaningful day.

I was off with the sun and walked 8 km to the refuge at Orisson where the ashes of my mentor Capt. Ed Mandin were scattered by Father Mike and Lloyd Rath. The photos Lloyd sent made it possible for me to find what I believe to be the spot they chose. There was no mark, but the place retains its awesome beauty. I said a quick prayer and gave Ed some words of thanks for his kindness and friendship, and then continued up the hill. 

I was also thankful for the calm and peaceful day at almost 1500 meters. There is not much shelter up there when the wind blows. I am far from being the most fit person I know, and not even the most fit Old Guy, but I am amazed at the endurance I’ve achieved in the 5 weeks since I started this walk. I climbed more than 4000 feet in elevation in 16 km in around 4 hours including my stop in Orisson where I was scrambling up and down the hillside. My total climbing today was 5000 feet. I’m a little tired at the end of the day, but I am really enjoying this fitness and don’t want to lose it.

Apparently France and Spain are arguing about the location of the border, so there was no “welcome to Spain” sign, but I got my picture taken at a nice stopping point. Ah España! I am staying at a pension tonight rather than the giant Albergue which holds more than 200 pilgrims. I gave myself another little break. Apparently so did Martin Sheen.

Orisson

Ed Mandin spot

From below

Adios Orisson 

Up hill

Half way

 


Ah España!

In themoviehestayed in the dormitory. Real life was apparently kinderšŸ‘£


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