So I was prepared for a tough day, but not that tough!!! Wow. I met up with a young girl from Denmark and we decide last night that we would set off together. So aftr breakfast at the albergue, we set off. It was 6:30 and still quite dark.
We met up with loads of people along the way. OK -- so what was I thinking to hook up with someone half my age! She set a grueling pace! For the most part, I kept up with her and only near the end did she leave me so she could get to a washroom.
I had no need for a washroom No -- I did not get to try out my pee cloth. Let's just say that there was no place to discreetly go off and do that. Plus I did NOT have to do for the duration of the walk which is a bad thing. But I'm OK now. I drank when I wanted to.
OH -- the new water bottle holder on the shoulder strap of the backpack?? LOVE IT!!! I'm so glad that I disovered that style and and I carry extra in my backpack in other bottles.
I will not be able to desribe the trip. There are no words for the scenery that we saw today. And the hills were steep! I not talking steep -- I mean SUPER steep. There's a big difference. I had to have a few rests along the way and Mette and seemed to be super charging past a lot of people. That's the beauty of youth!!!!
We past incredible farm scenes -- horse grazing on hills that were so steep they had created horizonatl paths because they could not go down straight. The horses had bells on which we thought weird. We spotted whole hillside of sheep and at one point we passed a farmer with his sheep dog and that made me think of Sheila and Hutch. Hutch would have been in his glory out there!
We saw cows, also with bells and some pigs. Nothing seemed to care about us and the traffic just whizzed around the animals like they were not there!
We passed a food truck with 11 KM left so we had a banana and I bought a Coke, I was NOT going to drink sugar while I'm here, but seriously? I needed the sugar.
When I finally got to the top -- and here were many false hopes for the top along the way, we started the descent. Now this was NOT a gentle descent but rather a toe blistering effort that required a lot of care. I remember on the way up that I longed for a descent, but it was mighty painful,
However my feet seemed to have survived so I'm good. I think I have a blister on my baby toe as I had before. That one doesn't hurt, but I'll be keeping it lubricated and an eye on it and I might get out my needle and thread to pop it before bed. I'll see how it goes.
OK - so I'm glad about the weight of my backpack. Many people sent their packs ahead or emptied most of them and sent that ahead. I was NOT having any issues at all. The weight is perfect and it was loaded with almost everything I owned since I wore my shorts and t-shirt for the day. Yep -- a wee bit of sweat was generated to say the least.
We walked on the road -- can you believe that even high into the Pyrenees, the road -- the single lane road is paved? Totaly crazy. We went through some trails as well and walked along some shady roads.
The weather god was on our side. The weather could not have been more perfect. I think that was my birthday present! And a very wecome one it was. It wasn't too hot, we generated enough heat to not have to worry about being cold. No rain and we were in by 1:40 or something like that. I didn't really pay attention to my watch, but I know that we had to wait 10 minutes until 2PM to check into the albergue.
I lucked out with a lowere bunk so that was great. I'll take pictures as we are in an old monastery, but it's all been changed to accommodate the pilgrims
We had lunch, Mette from Denmark, Paula and Scott from Idaho I wonder if they know Mary's clan? I'm kidding - Idaho is a big place. I wasn't expecting fruit and salad but so far, so good and had the most delicious goat cheese salad for lunch with a beer .
Then down to the laundry room to hand wash everything, although for 4 E, the two friendly volunteers would do it. I decided to handwash, but used their spinner and donaed 1 E. It's all hanging on the line outside now and with quick dry everything, it's proabably already dry.
We have to take our shoes off to enter the dorms an there are plenty of bricks on the floor which was a challege. But thankfully we can wear our sandals.
I thought I was having trouble with my phone service and then realized I had to put roaming on. Now I am good again.
I need to stretch some more and drink lots of water which I left upstairs. OH --- I got two new badges from FitBit -- the 300 flights of stairs in a day and the 400 flights of stairs in a day. I think the elevation gain was 1,500 M, I'll try to post pictures of some of the stats.
I hae three hours to kill before dinner so I might check out some distances tomorrow -- apparently, it's downhill as well, but I hope it's not quite so steep.
Well that's it for the first day on the Camino de Santiago. OH -- I should mention that lots of people do this trip mutiple times. However, you would think after that wicked first day, they would think twice. Perhaps it's like child birth -- you forget how bad it realy was!! Actually, it wasn't that bad but it was a tough day.
Since we arrived, many more people have arrived and my guess is this alberrgue will be full with 200 beds.
Have a super day!!!!!