Camino de Santiago, St. Jean to Roncevaux
Right, left, right, left, walking the Camino de Santiago one step at a time I dragged my body into the courtyard of the convent of Roncevaux. I was the last one in our group of walkers to pass through the gate and as I did so a woman was smiling and waving me forward, while a man approached me.
Delirious with Exhaustion?
In my head I’m thinking, who are these people?! Am I so delirious with exhaustion I don’t recognize them? The man walked right up to me, gently held my face in his hands and rattled off what I believed were lovely thoughts. I finally managed to understand he was asking me if I had walked from St. Jean Pied de Port and I said, “Yes.” And then he smiled and just talked to me as if I understood, which although I didn’t understand his words, I understood his heart. It’s the Camino.
I Gave Birth to a Mountain
I wish I could share with you some profoundly philosophical words of wisdom about today, but all I can tell you is I feel as if I gave birth to a mountain.
St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncevaux
The happy helpers in the Pilgrims Office, in St. Jean Pied de Port, encouraged us to take the mountain pass from St. Jean to Roncevaux because the weather would be warm and sunny. We were told the views would be spectacular and maybe we would see snow. They said it would take seven or eight hours.
Ha! It took us a solid ten hours because maybe we would see snow, was in actuality, four hours of trekking through knee-deep snow packs, running water, ankle high mud and it rained just for good measure.
April 12, 2015
Today we walked 16 miles
Highest Elevation: 4,688 feet
We’ve included a series of photos that pretty much depicts our day of walking from St. Jean to Roncevaux. Nothing like starting off our Camino trek with a bang!
I have never been so painfully exhausted in my entire life. And, that includes 13 hours of induced labor/childbirth. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’ve never felt so empowered and so full of doubt at the same time.
Wow!!! “I feel like I gave birth to a mountain…” LOVE IT!
Sarah Somewhere recently posted…The Road to Queretaro
It was the only way I could describe the experience! 😉
Oh, Patti!!! You guys are really doing it! So, so awesome. It sounds like a moving experience, painful at times too. I have to catch up on your journey! I’ll read your next post right away.
Tracey recently posted…25 Places in Eastern Europe You Should Visit Now
We’re doing it, Tracey! One day at a time, one step at a time.
WTG! You did the toughest part and lived to tell the tale. It’s also one of the most spectacular sections on the camino as far as scenery. Wishing you a safe and splendid journey.
Viv & Jill recently posted…Chioggia in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy
Thanks so much, Viv & Jill! The views were incredible, the snow really made it challenging, but we did it!
16 miles. Girl!! Are you kidding. And lots of it uphill. I bow before you. You are a much better woman (walker) than I. They would have had to go looking for me.
Did you get out of bed today? Take care.
Not only did I get out of bed, I walked another 12.5 miles! Abi said I got over the mountain kicking and screaming, but I did it! 😉
16 miles over a mountain is a ginormous first day. I am SO impressed.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Zentangle Diva’s Challenge #212 – Magical Thinking Edition (and Some More Tangle Inspirations from Turkey and Israel)
Thanks! I’m pretty proud of us!
In my opinion, the first day is the hardest day. Congratulations!
Laura // Roam Far and Wide recently posted…Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Story #3: Meme, age 60, from Canada
It was damn hard, that’s for sure! Bang! Right out of the gate the toughest challenge!
Congratulations! So happy to hear you took the scenic, complicated and rewarding route.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss
Thanks so much, I love that poem! And I think of you and Bill and R&D as we walk each day.
You managed to keep your great sense of humour, I could not stop laughing at you mountain birthing metaphor. I loved the pictures and in particular you at the summit with a great big smile. A very successful first day.
Gilda Baxter recently posted…Tobago – Hello Old Friend!
Thanks, Gilda, it was so hard. The only thing I could liken it to was giving birth! 😉
oh dear.. well GOOD FOR YOU! A long day to be sure but, they were right 🙂 it is a lovely view!
Rhonda recently posted…Finding Color in El Fuerte
Thanks so much, Rhonda! The views were amazing!
You’re on your way. And if you can do this, the rest should be like a cake walk. How special to be welcomed to Roncevaux with understanding people there to receive you. Now that you’ve “given birth to a mountain” you are prepared for the rest of this adventure.
Gaelyn recently posted…Assemblage sculpture by Noah Purifoy
What an accomplishment! From someone who has started recording steps on Fitbit, 10,000 on a really, really good day, and has a tricky ankle, congratulations!
Congratulations! I so admire your hard work. Sixteen miles is alot! I hope you will cut yourselves some slack and take it slower on some days.
Your photos are lovely and I wish you the best on your amazing journey.
Josie recently posted…What’s Your Angle? Travel Photo Roulette #98
Thanks so much, Josie, I greatly appreciate your support!
The first day is really hard! Pictures are as I remember it – such spectacular view! Continued Buen Camino! You’ve got this!
Really, really, really hard! Thanks for the well wishes, I need them all!
Fantastic – Charles and I enjoyed your first day and love your by line “I gave birth to a mountain” Buy plasters and keep going!
christine taylor recently posted…A wonderful Easter week
Ha! Ha! It’s the only way I could describe how painful of a trek it was! 🙂
I feel as though you’ve made it already!
You’ve walked all day, and managed to get a post up – that’s dedication and focused motivation…
Now onwards and upwards… Can’t wait to hear about Day 2! 😉
Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted…A Travelling Tale… or, How I Finally Got to Whistler
Well, truth be told, Linda, I was completely exhausted and did not publish the post until the next morning. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and even my fingers were ached!