Today’s distance: 17.8 km
Total distance: 25.7 km
Elevation gain: 826 metres
Weather: Sun, clouds, some low fog – perfect temperature
Today was perfect in every way and is best described in photos. They don’t capture everything such as the singing, chirping, and cooing of a huge variety of birds (even one woodpecker), so you have to imagine that part. The scenery truly was “eye candy” for a photographer and there was I with my little iPhone SE trying my best to capture it all. Impossible!
I got a late start after 8 AM from Orrison as I had forgotten to pick up my sandwich and had to backtrack. 17.8 km would have been quite a distance to go without food. There was a rumour there was a food truck along the way but there was no guarantee since it is the Easter weekend.
The result from being one of the last to leave Orrison was that I walked alone for at least half the distance – a blessing in disguise! Having that solitude, I could be better connected with the surrounding beauty. I felt such gratitude to be there and able to do what I was doing. Describing how lucky I feel is just as hard as trying to capture the beauty with a little iPhone!
Eventually I caught up with others at the food truck (Yes! It was there!) which appeared in the middle of nowhere and captured plenty of customers. I walked with Carmel from Australia and Elsie from Denmark off and on. When we came to patches of snow, Carmel had to touch it as she hadn’t touched snow in twenty years.
The two-day hike from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles goes from 200 metres in St. Jean to just above 1,400 meters before descending steeply down to Roncesvalles at just over 900 metres. It was not as difficult to hike 17.8 km today as it was to hike just 7.9 km yesterday since the elevation gain today was more gradual.
I arrived in Roncesvalles and checked in at Albergue Colegiata just after 2 PM. The accommodation is spread over three floors with bunk beds in cubicles of four for 12 Euros and is very nice. So are the hospitaleros.