Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: Hiking the Pyrenees Part I

It was a storybook start to fulfill a dream of mine to walk the Camino de Santiago. I arrived as planned (albeit over packed) in the small picturesque French town of Saint Jean Pied de Port, the start of the Camino Frances route. Met some lovely pilgrims on the way, arranged for my post Camino items and miscellaneous stuff to be transported on to Santiago de Compostela for me, had some good wine, a delicious meal and great company. It was just about perfect.


I had an extra day in SJPDP to help acclimate and on September 21, 2016, I took my first steps on the Camino. It was a beautiful clear day and even the 4-legged locals were out to greet me. I was feeling great.

This was the beginning of my steep and relentless up hill hike to Refugio Orisson. With every turn I kept expecting to see the Hostal or at least some flat terrain. It was not to be. There were more hills, some of which were steeper than the one you just climbed. 

In the mist of the pain and agony I couldn't help but to marvel at the beautiful landscape and my accomplishments. I'm hiking the Pyrenees.

View from Orisson
The people who run the Albergue and the pilgrims I met were wonderful and the view was just stunning. At night you can hear the cow bells outside our room (horses and sheep have them too), and it helps me to overlook the snoring. It's all in the Camino experience they say which I can appreciate, but I had probably 30 minutes of solid sleep the whole night. 

I loved the communal dinner where we shared our names and where we are from.  A young girl from Liverpool (who sounds like the Beatles, two girls from Ireland, a girl from Israel, a couple from Ireland, a girl from San Diego and a 72 year old woman from Sweden doing her 2nd Camino (my hero), a mother and son from Minnesota (originally from Hawaii)

The pilgrim's life is simple. You walk, you shower, you was your next day's clothes (in hopes that it dries), you share a very brief Post dinner chat and then you go to bed by 9:00 am. Breakfast is  at 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

The Dream Lives On . . .  Buen Camino!


  1. Hi, Kathy
    It's good to hear from you, though you have some catching up to do here, as I see you've left Pamplona on Twitter. You've done the hardest part, and now you have nothing to worry about until you get to Villafranca del Bierzo, which is followed by the climb to O Cebreiro. Did you hear about the two Brits who got lost for five days on the Route Napoleon in August? They left St Jean at 4 p.m., which was their first mistake. I suppose they wanted to avoid the heat of the day. They were found by helicopter when they spread their clothes out in a cross, but it couldn't land as the ground was too steep. So a 4x4 got as close as it could and then they were rescued on foot.
    Are you getting some good sellos? I suppose you are too tired at the end of the day to write very much, and in the morning you have to be out on the road early, so no time to write. I don't think I will be able to catch you up, but I will be following in your footsteps after Puente la Reina. You could leave me a note in the 'Cowboy Bar' at El Ganso, as I'll stop there for a beer.

    1. Hi Bert, sorry for the delay in my response to your comment. I just returned from Spain and going through my notes. I did stop by the Cowboy Bar but I forgot to leave a note there for you. My apologies. I didn't get as many sellos as I wanted to because sometimes I would just forget to ask for them. I filled up one credencial and started another with a few remaining stops past Sarria. My favorite sello was the one I recieved from the church in O Cebriero. Sweet and beautiful. I'm not sure if you have that one. I'll be posting more now that I'm home and have my full keyboard and desk top computer. Loved my ipad mini but it was hard to blog on it while on the Camino.

      Congratulations on your recent Camino too. One thing is for sure, now I know why many pilgrims do more than one Camino. I'm already thinking of my 2nd one. :)


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.