Thursday, July 27, 2023

Day One - Saint Jean Pied de Porte to Orisson

 While I have objetive for this Camino, I want to keep it as open as I can. Everyone is always saying that the Camino will provide so let's see what happens! And it'll be good to have zero plans for a couple of weeks. 

I made it to Bayonne and as I mentoioned when I exited the train station, I was a bit taken aback as EVERYONE was dressed in all lin white with a red sash or a red scarf. After Googling it, I discovered that its the Fetes de Bayonne and it lasts for FIVE days. 

Now this isn't such a big deal, except the town was filled and there was fireworks, then the music started and even though it was across the river, it was LOUD. They did NOT stop partying even when the music stopped at some point in the night. Needless to say, I did NOT get a good night sleep. 

I caught the train to SJPDP and all was good. Thank goodness for Google Maps and a good sense of direction. I was at the Pilgrims Office in a flash. They stamped my passport and I was good to go. they questioned me starting that late (10:20) as itˋs a LONG hard day. 

Well, if all goes well, thereˋs always the option to stop at Refuge Orisson which is only 8 KM from SJPdP, so not far in distance but in altitude change - itˋs huge. SJPdP is 170 M above sea level and Orisson is 770 M. Most of that was STEEP. I had remembered steep, but not that steep. 

And at one point, I did NOT feel OK. Probably a lack of sleep, the heat, and the climb. So I stopped often when the going got tough and I was OK with that. A couple of bites and some water and I felt better, but not great. 

I had to laugh becuase I had picked up a few small pieces of what I thought was cheese. Oh yes -- one of them was cream cheese and I had to eat that glob with nothing. Oh yum!!!

I was hoping to fnd a bed at Refuge Orisson which is not far into the walk. If there were no beds, then I would have found a way to carry on. Luckily for me (someone is providing me with a bed when I need it most) there were beds available Yeah!!! I donˋt even mind that I got an upper bunk! My ˋfavoriteˋ.ˋBut beggers canˋt be choosers!!!!

Without even taking a shower, I popped over to the restaaurant which overlooks a valley and itˋs stunning. I had TWO cokes - Iˋm not going to worry about sugar on this trip. And I had a sandwich and I feel much better. Tomorrow, I can start like normal and Iˋll be one day behind my original plan, which I might decide to make up at some point. Iˋll see how I feel. 

So the big question of the day is how are those feet. So far, so good. They seemed to be happy in the Injinji toe socks and I had slathered cream on them in the morning. Some foot repair cream that I fuond. The shoes were plenty big and provided lots of rooom for all the toes and they are all singing a happy chorus this afternoon in my Teva sandals. 

The weight of my backpack even with that extra pound of snacks is fine! Letˋs see how careful I packed - did I miss anything or did something come that I didnˋt need to pack. 

I must say that it helps that I was here last year and learned a bit of the way of things. I feel much more relaxed and Iˋm happy to make things up as I go. Letˋs keep it like that. 

Although I had to laugh at the lady in the bottom bunk from me. We get a token that is good for a 5 minute shower. She was complaining that she has done the Camino three times and was never restricted to one shower. Good lord --- we are on the side of a mountain. How entitled is she. My reply was - who needs more than one shower, which is true. You have one when you get in and then you get ready and leave in the morning. No one has a seond shower. Sigh.............

Thereˋs still three hours to dinner and I think I might go and have a snooze. I dont need a lot, but havent really had a great sleep since I left home and tomorrow is another day of walking! 

Oh -- I did NOT stop at this albergue last year, but went right on to the next stop. Mind you I started a lot earlier last year as well, so it was doable. Today, under the circumstances it was not and that suits me just fine. I passed people along the way - not sure what time they started, but I made it here before they did. Not that it matters - this is not a race! 

My sentence of the day: Train from Bayonne to SJPdP. Got my Pilgrim passport stamped and took a picture of the start of the French Camino. A long, hot, slog up the Pyranees to Refuge Orisson. A GREAT day. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Wishing you good luck on your adventure. Take care of your feet 🙂

  2. Good luck….thanks for taking us along the journey with you . Did you take a photo of your shoes before you started? Mary C