I did not have an appropriate pilgrim attitude at the end of walking today, but I did enjoy the start.
I woke up at 3:00 am (thank you jet lag) but didn’t start doing anything until about 5:40, when others in our albergue began stirring. We had a free breakfast of hot chocolate and bread, which I ate the French way (or what I was told was the French way) by making the hot chocolate in a bowl and dipping my bread in. At least one other person was doing the same thing so I didn’t feel too out of place.
We started walking about 6:40 and were immediately joined by a girl named Sunny (possibly not spelled that way). Her name matches her personality – she was amazingly positive. She and Andy outpaced Dad and me within the first 8 km, after which she left to press ahead, but not before admonishing is to catch up.
Dad and I struggled with the relentless steep uphill, so when we finally saw Orisson, where Andy waited, it was a huge relief. We had some pineapple juice and some Basque pastries we saved from yesterday, then set off again. Andy moved faster than us, but he always waited for us to catch up at some point.
It was misty the entire day, so we had no fabulous views of the Pyrenees, but we also stayed cool all the time. This was especially good for Dad, who really struggled for the last two thirds of the walk. He kept at it, though, and we made it to Roncesvalles, footsore and weary. (The last part of this journey was when I had my non-pilgrimy thiughts, as I cursed the downhill path when ever a turn failed to produce the albergue.)
The albergue has cubbies for our backpacks, which I don’t remember, and pretty good showers, which I do. Dad and I are in one set of bunk beds and Andy’s in the cubicle next door. The guy at the desk made sure to give Dad a bottom bunk.
One thing I remembered loving about this albergue is that for 3.50€ they’ll wash and dry your clothes and deliver them to your bed. We had about a load and a half, so I put some of mine in with a girl we met on the descent to make two full loads. Now we have clean clothes for the next few days! (I did have to retrieve one sock from the dryer, but given that it’s wet outside I’m not going to complain.)
Now we’re taking advantage of the free wifi while we wait for dinner at 8:30 (early on Spain terms). Tomorrow we’ll base where we stop on how Dad is feeling.