Apr 6th, 2019
Today we walked from St Jean in France to Roncevalles in Spain. We did not get off to a good start as J was late getting ready and all the other pilgrims had left – so walking on our own we immediately got lost. Luckily we managed to join up with another Pilgrim group – one Portuguese, one German, one American. One of the charms of the Camino is meeting people from other countries and during the course of the day we met pilgrims from Australia, Holland, and Hong Kong (these were just the people we got chatting too).
We walked with our new friends all day and later met up with a lovely lady from Hong Kong who joined us. The route was 24km and after about half way it started to climb and climb – basically the best part of 1000m of vertical ascent. Parts of it were very lovely – reminisent of Argyll and the Lochgoilhead waterfall walk, but just like Argyll the weather changed in a second from sun to rain to hail to snow back to sun.
Eventually we made it to the top of the pass and it was just at that moment that a major storm hit with hail, high winds, thunder and lightning. We got down as quickly as we could, and below about 700m the weather went back to ok, and then as we were entering Roncevalles, the sun came out.
Next door is the tomb Charlmagne reputedly created for the warrior Roland. The other people we walked with today are all staying at an impressive but austere monastery just across the road.
27km tomorrow but largely on the flat alongside a river. I can’t say how impressed I am with J who although largely unfit walked uphill for 4 solid hours.
Few pictures today as Wi-fi slow and the walls of the inn are 3′ thick so little signal. Also the keyboard on the Surface Go is driving me nuts – wish I had brought the Pro with me