Friday, July 28, 2023

Orisson to Ronsavelles

 Is it a good thing when you don't even know what day of the week it is? I was in a room with six women last night and it was dead silent abd DARK! What a treat from the last couple of nights. I slept like a log. 

OH my -- someime before dinner, we were sitting around outside and someone's phone went off with an alert. Yikes  - and then they wouldn't stop. It was a weather alert for storms. We are in the mountains after all. At one point, while we were inside looking out, it POURED and it POURED!!! There is one person staying in a tent and another in a hammock. Not sure how the hammock guy made out but I chatted to the person in the tent along the way and he was OK. 

It was also windy last night and it remained windy all day. We had a great dinner of cream of veggie soup, green peas and pork. wine on the table and dessert. We also intruduced ourselves and I'm amazed at how many families with children are walking. There was a family of 7 (5 kids - all boys) and they were walking for 3 days. They have walked for the last six years so even when the kids were small. 

I passed anoher family today of five. It's so great to see the families bonding because there is nothing to do but bond on the trail. 

After breakfast this morning, I headed out alone around 7:30. I learned a valuable lesson last year - I started my walk with someone and I didn't feel I could stop to take pictures or take a breather. So I walk alone and I'm so much happier. 

As I said, it was quite windy and in some places high up in the mountains, you were fighting to take a step. On top of the steep climb and it was an interesting day. We started out with sunny skies, but it clouded over and I didn't even use my hat all day. 

I met up with a few people, I'm not sure where they started, but it was pretty much me and myself all day. 

The highlight of the day was watching a sheep farmer herd his sheep with his dog. I was with the family of five and we watched his dog sprint around the mountain and got all the sheep but two. The dog couldn't seem to get in his head that there were two sheep that needed to be rounded up. It was absolutely fascinating since the farmer stood on the hillside and shouted the commands to the dog who was far away and the dog was bounding all over. It made me think of Sheila and Butch. Butch is a sheep dog and he goes to school with Sheila and learns to herd sheep!!! How cool is that? Butch would have been in his glory on that mountainside today!!!

Because I was alone, I got to stop and look at the flowers and admire the trees and look back at where I had come and where I was going. It's all about taking the time to enjoy the moment. Despite my fast pace (I can't help it - I walk fast - even on a mountain) I took the time to enjoy. 

I didn't get lost once - I remembered the path and the secondary routes and all was good. There was a lot of descent, but I had tied my shoes to prevent slipping and I think it worked. And I had the most ridiculous gait but I refuse to walk like an old lady. So a wide long gait works. 

I stopped once to check a potential hot spot on my heel. I think the issue is that the bottom of my foot is a big callus and the skin above that is tender. Itˋs like tetonic plates in the earth. Something has to give. I put some cream on it and it seems to be fine. Iˋll be watching like a hawk as tomorrow is a BRUTAL descent. 

I need to stretch as  my quads are screaming. My knees protested a bit on the descent, and they are stiff, but they seem to be holding up OK.

Everything goes in the wash today except for the three things I'm wearing! So far I made good choices on what I brought. The only issue and it's minor is that my waist pouch is NOT waterproof. Which is OK, but when I pulled out my Pilgrim passport it's damp from sweat! And I didn't really sweat today although it feels humid. But I have a plastic bag to protect it so I just have to be sure to use it. It's drying out on my bed right now!!

I had time to move on since I arrived here at 11:30, but I'm takng the first couple of days easy to test things out. 

Haven't met any other Canadians yet and no one from the US. Lots of Aussies, and people from various parts of Europe. There are always lots of French and Italians on the Camiino. 

Sentence of the day: Orisson to Ronsevalles. Four hours of walking uphill into a headwind or downhill, also into a headwind. Weather was great - cloudy and cool. Happy with my feet. 

I had lunch at the restaurant when I arrived and it's pretty quiet around here. Many people are now starting to arrive, but I beat the shower line and all that. 

One thing that I will say is if you have a dream or something you really want to do. Get out there and make it happen. It's so good to be free of EVERYTHING and all I own fits into one small backpack and that makes me very happy!!!

Have a great day!!


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