These pictures are from the first day and a half – the 24th and 25th
DAY 1 (AUG. 24)
ST. JEAN TO VIERGE D’ORISSON (11.8 km)
We are excited and a bit anxious. This is the first portion of the Pyrenees climb. As it is designated as “difficult” we are climbing ½ way this day. A van will return us to St. Jean and then take us back to Vierge d’Orisson the next day. (There is no accommodation at VO). It is warm and sunny. The skies are an incredible cerulean.We pass through the Spanish Arch and after taking a photo for mother and daughter pilgrims, we start walking. Our mood is joyful to actually be here and doing this. How blessed we are! Our steps are light a d our pace easily 5km/hr. The hills begin. The day gets warmer. The hills are “alive with the sound of cowbells”. There are sheep and cows everywhere, paying us no attention as we trudge by. This “bell choir” gives a strangely comforting accompaniment to our day. Other pilgrims pass us and later we pass them—always with a wave a smile and “Buen Camino”—“good Camino”. The beautiful verdant hills seem endless now—and higher. Dad keeps reassuring me that it will level out around the next curve. It does not. It is very hot and we are very tired. Everyone we see looks exhausted. Finally, we reach our destination…..and we wait…..and we wait….the van is not there and does not seem to be coming. We begin to walk back. Downhill is easier for a while. We walk almost 3 km when the van arrives—an hour and a half late. Some mix up….we are just glad to be going back to St. Jean.