Day One: Survival!

I experienced a deep sense of satisfaction while walking the final kilometer of the first day’s trek. After endless uphill passages and some steep difficult descents, through mountain passes crossed by ancient armies, the final bit of this 25 kilometer journey wandered through a wooded valley alongside a bubbling brook, the perfect element in which to meditate upon the day’s achievement. This was the longest distance I had ever walked in one undertaking in my life! And included an elevation change of 1200 meters to boot. I awoke from my thoughts as the trail opened up into the village of Roncesvalles.

Preparing the chapel in the Notre Dame du Bout du Pont church in St. Jean, where I started the Camino with a prayer. Coincidentally, 8 Sep celebrates the birth of Mary.
We set off at 7:00 am when it was still dark and were well on our way when the sun began to wake up.
First break at Orisson (8 km). Time for cafe con leche and a slice of tortilla.
Second break
I was entertained with gamelan music in this country of sheep. Question: how does the shepherd decide which sheep to put the bell on? The sheep will follow whichever one has it. Does the shepherd look for leadership qualities, or horn size, or charisma? Asking for a friend who has goats.
The panoramic vistas took your breath away. Or maybe it was just the altitude!
Another break. I kept thinking about all the mothers who bring life into this world. My mother. My wife. My daughter in law. I dedicate this walk to all of you.

9 thoughts on “Day One: Survival!

  1. Congratulations on finishing day 1!! Can’t wait to keep reading about your adventures. And what a beautiful tribute to mothers including our beloved Mimi!


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